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Rigel Pharmaceuticals’ (RIGL - Snapshot Report) second-quarter 2013 loss of 26 cents per share was narrower than the Zacks Consensus Estimate of a loss of 31 cents as well as the year-ago quarter loss of 35 cents. Lower operating costs were primarily responsible for the narrower loss. The share count in the second quarter of 2013 was higher than a year ago.

Rigel Pharma generated revenues of $1.4 million in the reported quarter. Entire revenues came from the payment made by Daiichi Sankyo to Rigel Pharma pertaining to the filing of an investigational new drug application for an oncology candidate.

Research and development expenses came in at $19.4 million in the second quarter of 2013, down 7.1%. General and administrative expenses decreased 10.9% to $4.9 million in the second quarter of 2013. The reduction in operating costs was due to lower personnel costs and a decline in share-based compensation expense

Rigel Pharma was in the news in the second quarter of 2013 with AstraZeneca (AZN - Analyst Report) returning the former the rights to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) candidate, fostamatinib. AstraZeneca arrived at the decision based on mixed data from the OSKIRA phase III program and decided against pursuing regulatory filings for the candidate. The OSKIRA phase III program comprised of three phase III studies: OSKIRA-1 (n ~ 900), OSKIRA-2 (n ~ 900) and OSKIRA-3 (n ~ 320).

We remind investors that AstraZeneca was collaborating with Rigel Pharma for the worldwide development and commercialization of fostamatinib since Feb 2012.

Rigel Pharma currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). At present, companies like Biogen Idec (BIIB - Analyst Report) and Gilead Sciences, Inc. (GILD - Analyst Report) look attractive with both carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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