Research Strategy

Rigel’s research is centered on exploring molecules that modulate the immune system’s ability to control inflammation.

Inflammation is a fundamental component of most human diseases and disease areas such as autoimmune diseases, allergies, neuroinflammation, thrombo-inflammation and oncology.

Rigel focuses on identifying and targeting key pathways and cell types of the immune system with small molecules in order to have a broad impact on inflammation in many disease contexts. To find these molecules, we utilize cell-based assays with primary human cells that measure the inhibition of activation and subsequent output of living cells. We believe cell-based assays better represent the actual conditions of human disease, as opposed to commonly used enzymatic assays.

First Molecule taken from Discovery to Commercial

Our first FDA-approved, commercial drug, fostamatinib disodium hexahydrate (TAVALISSE), is a spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) inhibitor that was discovered in Rigel’s laboratories. SYK inhibition disrupts a signaling pathway that is potentially key to multiple autoimmune diseases. This has proven to be the case in chronic immune thrombocytopenia (ITP), a disease in which the body makes antibodies against its own platelets, directing their destruction. We believe there is much broader potential for this molecule and are currently expanding its potential and use in a Phase 3 clinical trial in warm autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) as well as continuing to investigate its utility in other immunological disorders through pre-clinical studies.