SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Nov. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq:RIGL) today announced that Gregg Lapointe, CPA, MBA has been appointed to Rigel's board of directors. Currently the chief executive officer (CEO) and co-founder of Cerium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Mr. Lapointe offers Rigel's board nearly three decades of commercial and financial experience bringing products to market in the areas of medical devices and rare diseases.
"We look forward to working with Mr. Lapointe and feel confident that his experience will be invaluable as we transition our company into a commercial entity," said Raul Rodriguez, president and chief executive officer of Rigel. "Mr. Lapointe understands the challenges and opportunities involved with introducing a new treatment to the rare disease community and we anticipate that his strategic counsel will help guide us to success as we complete our first New Drug Application review with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration."
A certified public accountant and graduate of the Duke University Fuqua School of Business, Mr. Lapointe began his career in accounting as well as mergers and acquisition in Montreal, Canada before moving into a leadership role at Ingram & Bell Meditron and Medical Plastic Devices MPD Inc. In 2001, Mr. Lapointe joined Sigma-Tau Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he rose from vice president of finance to chief executive officer, overseeing a company focused exclusively on the development and commercialization of medicines for rare diseases. During his tenure, the company grew to nine marketed products in the rare disease space (small molecule, biologics, medical foods) with an extensive clinical development pipeline. In 2012, Mr. Lapointe founded and became the CEO of Cerium Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a start-up focused on developing and commercializing medicines for patients with rare diseases. Presently, Mr. Lapointe also sits on the board of Soligenix, Inc. and Cytori Therapeutics, Inc. He previously sat on the board of SciClone Pharmaceuticals, Inc., ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Inc., Raptor Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Questcor Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Cambrooke Therapeutics, Inc., among others. From 2009 to 2012, Mr. Lapointe was a member of the Board of Directors, and Chair of the Rare Disease Committee, of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) in Washington, DC.
"It's an exciting time to join Rigel as the company approaches an important milestone, the possible FDA approval of fostamatinib in chronic immune thrombocytopenia," said Mr. Lapointe. "There is huge opportunity to serve in-need patient communities and investors when rare disease becomes the focus. I very much look forward to offering my perspective and experience as they advance their clinical program and invest in their future pipeline."
About Rigel (www.rigel.com)
Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biotechnology company dedicated to discovering, developing and providing novel small molecule drugs that significantly improve the lives of patients with immune and hematological disorders, cancer and rare diseases. Rigel's pioneering research focuses on signaling pathways that are critical to disease mechanisms. The company's current clinical programs include clinical trials of fostamatinib, an oral spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) inhibitor, in a number of indications. Rigel has submitted, and the FDA has accepted for review, an NDA for fostamatinib in patients with chronic or persistent immune thrombocytopenia (ITP). In addition, Rigel has product candidates in development with partners BerGenBio AS, Daiichi Sankyo and Aclaris Therapeutics.
Forward Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements relating to, among other things, the ability of Rigel to transition to a commercial stage company and possibly gain approval to its NDA. 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 "planned," "will," "possible," "expect," and similar expressions are intended to identify these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on Rigel's current expectations and inherently involve significant risks and uncertainties. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of these risks and uncertainties, which include, without limitation, the FDA may not approve Rigel's submitted NDA; as well as other risks detailed from time to time in Rigel's reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2017. Rigel does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements and expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statements contained herein.
Contact: Ryan D. Maynard
Media Contact: Jessica Daitch
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SOURCE Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc.