Rigel Announces Fourth Quarter and Year End 2006 Financial Results

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Feb. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: RIGL) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2006.

For the fourth quarter of 2006, Rigel reported a net loss of $15.5 million, or $0.62 per share, compared to a net loss of $8.9 million, or $0.36 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2005. Weighted average shares outstanding for the fourth quarters of 2006 and 2005 were 25.1 million and 24.5 million, respectively.

Rigel reported revenue from collaborations of $3.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2006, compared to $6.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2005. Revenue in the fourth quarter of 2005 included $2.5 million related to the upfront amortization for the Serono collaboration signed in October 2005.

Total operating expenses were $20.0 million in the fourth quarter of 2006, compared to operating expenses of $16.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2005. The increase in operating expenses was primarily due to stock-based compensation expense of $2.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2006, compared to stock-based compensation recovery of $2.2 million in the same period last year.

For the year ended December 31, 2006, Rigel had revenues of $33.5 million and a net loss of $37.6 million, or a loss per share of $1.51. This compares to revenues of $16.5 million and a net loss of $45.3 million, or a loss per share of $2.07 for the same period in 2005.

As of December 31, 2006, Rigel had cash, cash equivalents and available- for-sale securities of $104.5 million, compared to $115.0 at September 30, 2006 and $138.2 million at December 31, 2005. Net cash used in the fourth quarter of 2006 was $10.5 million.

"The steady progress of our clinical development programs, particularly in regard to our lead product candidate, R788, has expanded our efforts into additional indications, including immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP) and lymphoma," said James M. Gower, chairman and chief executive officer of Rigel. "In 2007, we anticipate being able to deliver Phase 2 data for R788 in the clinical areas of ITP and rheumatoid arthritis, while we continue to advance other product candidates in our growing portfolio."

    Recent Events:

    * Initiated a Phase 2 study of R788 for the treatment of ITP (2007)
    * Filed an investigational new drug (IND) application with the U.S. Food
      and Drug Administration for R788 for the treatment of lymphoma (Fourth
      Quarter of 2006)
    * Selected R348, an orally-available, selective inhibitor of Janus Kinase
      3 (JAK3) to enter preclinical studies (Fourth Quarter of 2006)

    About Rigel (www.rigel.com)

Rigel is a clinical-stage drug development company that discovers and develops novel, small-molecule drugs for the treatment of inflammatory diseases, cancer and viral diseases. Our goal is to file one new IND in a significant indication each year. We have achieved this goal since 2002. Our pioneering research focuses on intracellular signaling pathways and related targets that are critical to disease mechanisms. Rigel's productivity has resulted in strategic collaborations with large pharmaceutical partners to develop and market our product candidates. We have product development programs in inflammatory/autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, thrombocytopenia, and asthma and allergy, as well as in cancer.

This press release contains "forward-looking" statements, including statements related to Rigel's plans with respect to clinical development of product candidates and expansion of its product portfolio. Any statements contained in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Words such as "plans," "intends," "promising," "expects," "anticipates" and similar expressions are intended to identify these forward-looking statements. There are a number of important factors that could cause Rigel's results to differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements, including risks associated with the timing and success of clinical trials and the commercialization of product candidates, as well as other risks detailed from time to time in Rigel's SEC reports, including its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2006. Rigel does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements.

    Contact: Ryan Maynard
    Phone: (650) 624-1284
    Email: invrel@rigel.com

                           STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS
                   (in thousands, except per share amounts)

                                       Three Months Ended  Twelve Months Ended
                                            December 31,       December 31,
                                           2006     2005      2006      2005
                                            (unaudited)         (unaudited)
      Contract revenues from
       collaborations                     $3,128   $6,020   $33,473   $16,526

    Operating expenses:
      Research and development            13,685   14,958    50,453    53,505
      General and administrative           3,895    3,376    13,488    13,033
      Stock-based compensation expense/
       (recovery) (see Note A)             2,442   (2,228)   12,579    (2,090)
        Total operating expenses          20,022   16,106    76,520    64,448
    Loss from operations                 (16,894) (10,086)  (43,047)  (47,922)
    Interest income, net                   1,438    1,193     5,410     2,666
    Net loss                            $(15,456) $(8,893) $(37,637) $(45,256)
    Net loss per common share, basic
     and diluted                          $(0.62)  $(0.36)   $(1.51)   $(2.07)
    Weighted average shares used in
     computing net loss per common share,
     basic and diluted                    25,093   24,524    24,936    21,857

    Note A

    Stock-based compensation
     expense/(recovery) excluded from:
       Research and development           $1,317  $(1,576)   $6,515   $(1,467)
       General and administrative          1,125     (652)    6,064      (623)
                                          $2,442  $(2,228)  $12,579   $(2,090)

                          SUMMARY BALANCE SHEET DATA
                                (in thousands)

                                                December 31,      December 31,
                                                   2006              2005(1)
    Cash, cash equivalents and available
     for sale securities                          $104,471          $138,196
         Total assets                              113,240           147,668
         Stockholder's equity                       87,229           108,588

      (1)Derived from audited financial statements

SOURCE Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc.