Healthcare Business

Rigel Pharma Moves Forward With Midstage COVID-19 Study

Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: RIGL) has announced that it will push forward with a midstage trial in the treatment of COVID-19. With the ongoing pandemic resulting in thousands of new cases every day, this trial offers another option in the treatment against this disease.

In terms of the specifics, the firm is initializing its Phase 2 trial to evaluate the safety of fostamatinib, its oral spleen tyrosine kinase inhibitor, for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

The study is sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, in collaboration with Inova Health System. Fostamatinib, which marketed in the United States as Tavalisse tablets, is approved in the United States and Europe as a treatment for adult chronic immune thrombocytopenia.

As for the structure of the trial, it is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate the safety of fostamatinib for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The study will randomly assign fostamatinib or a placebo to roughly 60 evaluable patients.

The treatment will be administered orally twice daily for 14 days. There will be a follow-up period to day 60. The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the safety of fostamatinib compared to placebo for the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The secondary objective will be to assess the early efficacy and clinically relevant measures of disease progression.

Excluding Thursday’s move, Rigel Pharmaceuticals stock had outperformed the broad markets with a gain of about 17% year to date. In the past 52 weeks, the stock was up closer to 51%.

Rigel Pharmaceuticals stock traded about 5% on Thursday to $2.64, in a 52-week range of $1.23 to $5.24. The consensus price target is $7.33.