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Rigel Collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development Yields Validated Targets for Cancer Drug Development
South San Francisco, - January 31, 2002
Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: RIGL) today announced that its oncology collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C., has resulted in the acceptance by Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development of two validated drug targets. The acceptance of the targets by Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development will result in a milestone payment to Rigel.
Rigel’s collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development is based on the discovery of targets directed at the cell cycle, a series of biological events that each cell undergoes in order to divide. In mutated cells, the genetic “switches” that regulate this process are disabled, which can lead to uncontrolled cell division and proliferation (cancer). The targets selected by Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development may enable the development of new agents that can alter the abnormal cell cycle regulation process or induce mutated cells to self-destruct (apoptosis).
Under the agreement that began in January 1999, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development provided research funding for an exclusive, worldwide royalty-bearing license to cell cycle-based products resulting from the collaboration. In early January 2002, the companies announced that they extended the collaboration for an additional two years until December 2003.
Rigel Pharmaceuticals (www.rigel.com) is a drug discovery and development company that uses advanced functional genomics tools to discover novel drug targets. Rigel's technology is designed to identify molecules which play an important role in regulating a human cell's response to disease by testing a very large number of proteins in a very large number of cells to determine which proteins will change the cell's response to the disease. Rigel currently has programs in asthma/allergy, autoimmunity, transplant rejection, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic bronchitis, cancerous tumor growth and hepatitis C. Rigel has multi-year collaborations with Pfizer Inc., Cell Genesys, Inc., Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development and Novartis Pharma A.G. Rigel is based in South San Francisco, California.
Statements included in this press release that are not historical in nature are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include those relating to the anticipated progress and success of the Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development collaboration. Rigel cautions readers that forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in the forward-looking statements due to the risks and factors identified in Rigel's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2000 and other filings made with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. The information in this press release is current as of its release date. Rigel does not intend to update the forward-looking information contained in this press release.