Issue Date: May 16, 2011
Pfizer Returns Drug To Rigel
As a result of its decision to trim the number of therapeutic areas in its research portfolio, Pfizer has returned the rights to the allergic asthma drug candidate R343 to Rigel Pharmaceuticals. R343, poised for Phase II trials, will now become Rigel’s most advanced wholly owned project. Rigel and Pfizer began working together in 2005 on small-molecule inhibitors of syk, a protein tyrosine kinase that plays a key role in the immune cascade, and Pfizer chose R343 as a lead candidate a year later. R343 is not the only casualty of pipeline cutbacks at big pharmaceutical firms. In recent months, Merck & Co. returned projects to Galapagos and Portola Pharmaceuticals, and GlaxoSmithKline ended a long-standing collaboration with Targacept.
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