Pfizer Hands Back Rigel Drug

South San Francisco-based Rigel Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: RIGL) said today it that it will take over development of an experimental asthma drug, R343, after its partner, New York-based Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), decided to stop developing allergy and respiratory drugs. The treatment, an inhalable small molecule designed to inhibit a protein called syk, was licensed from Rigel to Pfizer in 2005. Pfizer has since completed Phase 1 clinical trials, and now that Rigel has regained the rights, it said it plans to design a mid-stage trial later this year.

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