Rigel to drop skin disease drug after trial failure

Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:55am EDT

Oct 24 (Reuters) - Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc said it would stop the development of its drug to treat skin lesions in patients with discoid lupus, a chronic skin disease, after the treatment failed a mid-stage study.

The company said the drug, codenamed R333, did not meet the main goal of reducing the redness and roughness of flaky skin in patients with the disease, which is characterized by sores that can lead to scarring and hair loss.

Rigel also said it met with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its blood disorder drug, fostamatimib, and will start two late-stage studies of the drug in the first half of 2014.

Rigel shares were halted in premarket trading.