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Edited Transcript of RIGL earnings conference call or presentation 1-May-18 9:00pm GMT

Q1 2018 Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc Earnings Call

South San Francisco May 9, 2018 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc earnings conference call or presentation Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 9:00:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Anne-Marie S. Duliege

Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - Executive VP & Chief Medical Officer

* Dolly A. Vance

Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - Executive VP of Corporate Affairs, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary

* Eldon C. Mayer

Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - Executive VP & Chief Commercial Officer

* Giovanna Matthews

Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - Executive Director of Market Access

* Nelson D. Cabatuan

Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - VP of Finance & Interim Principal Accounting Officer

* Raul R. Rodriguez

Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - President, CEO & Director

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Conference Call Participants

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* Allison Marie Bratzel

Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division - Research Analyst

* Guyn Kim

BMO Capital Markets Equity Research - Analyst

* Kyung Yang

Jefferies LLC, Research Division - MD & Senior Equity Research Analyst

* Tessa Thomas Romero

JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division - Analyst

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Good afternoon, and welcome to Rigel's Pharmaceuticals financial conference call for the first quarter of 2018. (Operator Instructions)

I would like to remind you that this call is being recorded for replay purposes from Rigel's website. (Operator Instructions)

And now I will turn this conference over to our first speaker, Dolly Vance, who is Rigel's Executive Vice President, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel.

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Dolly A. Vance, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - Executive VP of Corporate Affairs, General Counsel & Corporate Secretary [2]

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Welcome to our financial results and business update conference call. The financial press release for the first quarter of 2018 was issued a short while ago and can be viewed in the News and Events section of our Investor Relations page on our website, www.rigel.com. As a reminder, during today's call, we may make forward-looking statements regarding our financial outlook and our plans and timing for regulatory and product development. These statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ from those forecasted. A description of these risks can be found in our most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q on file with the SEC. Any forward-looking statements are made only as of today's date, and we undertake no obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

At this time, I would like to turn the call over to our CEO, Raul Rodriguez.

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Raul R. Rodriguez, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [3]

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Thank you, Dolly. Also joining me on the call today in addition to Dolly are Anne-Marie Duliege, our Chief Medical Officer; Eldon Mayer, our Chief Commercial Officer; Nelson Cabatuan, our VP of Finance; and Gio Matthews, our Executive Director of Market Access.

So we have a very important and useful agenda today for you, where we will outline the need for Tavalisse in this patient population, provide you with information on our patient support, market access and pricing to make Tavalisse available to these patients, our market launch preparations, and finally, our financial position.

Some of you on the call today are new listeners, so by way of background, we -- introduction to Rigel, we are focusing on discovering, developing and soon providing novel drugs to patients with substantial needs in the areas of immunology, hematology, cancers and rare diseases. In terms of highlights, and obviously and first, we are very proud to have achieved the U.S. FDA approval of Tavalisse, fostamatinib disodium hexahydrate, for adults with chronic ITP, who have had an insufficient response to a previous treatment. This is something that we've worked towards for many years, and we are elated to make it available to these patients and their health care providers.

In addition to our approval for Tavalisse this quarter, we completed an important financing for the company, which furthered our runway substantially. We had top line data from our proof-of-concept Phase II study with fostamatinib in patients with IgA nephropathy, showing a positive trend in patients with higher levels of proteinuria at baseline. We also provided an update to Stage 1 of our Phase II study with fostamatinib in autoimmune hemolytic anemia, which showed a very good response rate.

I will now turn the call over to Anne-Marie Duliege to provide you with an overview of the medical need in ITP.

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Anne-Marie S. Duliege, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - Executive VP & Chief Medical Officer [4]

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Thank you, Raul. So what is ITP? ITP is an autoimmune disease characterized by low platelet counts, usually less than 100,000 platelets by microliter. And the prevalence in the U.S. is approximately 65,000 adults. The most frequent clinical manifestations include Petechiae, bruises or epistaxis. But patient with a more severe form of a disease, when platelet counts drop below 30,000, may have more serious episodes of bleeding, including at times gastrointestinal and rarely but seriously risk for cerebral hemorrhage, which may result in death. So there is an important medical need in adults with chronic ITP. As I said, it's a rare autoimmune condition that arises from various disease mechanisms of platelet destruction. And the ability to identify a biomarker that predicts the patient's likelihood of response remains elusive. Adult patients who progress to chronic disease after failure to respond to a variety of treatment, including corticosteroid, typically cycle through existing therapies, which do not always confer durable response. And so it is not uncommon to see adult patients who, after a few years of success, lose a response to treatment. Therefore, there is a pool of patients who require new treatment options. Clearly, ideally, treatment options with a favorable tolerability profile that provides a clinically meaningful and durable platelet response in ITP. So this therapy should be convenient to patients and ideally act through an alternative mechanism of action that specifically target platelet destruction.

I will now provide an overview of Tavalisse in patients with adult chronic ITP.

On Slide 15, we have highlighted the mechanism of action of Tavalisse. ITP is a heterogeneous disease, predominantly thought to be immune-mediated platelet destruction. This heterogeneity is important because it makes it difficult to predict which patients will respond to which disease. Tavalisse, or fostamatinib, is designed to inhibit the spleen tyrosine kinase, which is a key signaling component in the body of immune process that leads to platelet destruction in ITP patients by macrophages. Tavalisse may address the underlying autoimmune cause of ITP by reducing platelet destruction via the SYK inhibition signal.

By way of background, on Slide 17, I'm providing the Phase III program design, since this program was designed with 2 similar Phase III studies randomizing patients 2 to 1 to Tavalisse or placebo, with the option of a long-term open-label extension, which is ongoing.

Slide 18 summarizes the baseline characteristics of patients in the study. 2 important points, patients in this study had a long-standing ITP with a median of over 8 years since diagnosis. During this time, they had multiple treatments, most frequently steroids, TPORA agents, and yet, they were not controlled by this treatment. The second important point is at baseline, the median platelet counts of patients in this program were 16,000, which is very low level, given that the normal counts for platelets ranges between 200,000 to 400,000.

Slide 19 describes the primary endpoint of a stable response rate in the 3 studies. In the FIT-1 and FIT-2 studies, this meant 4 out of 6 biweekly platelet counts greater than 50,000 and in the FIT-3 study, this meant achievement by 12 weeks and maintenance for 12 weeks of platelet counts above 50,000. This was a high bar and the response rate in this range -- in those 3 studies ranged between 16% to 23%, which is remarkable, given that these patients had failed multiple regimen before.

On Slide 20, I'm -- we're providing the median platelet counts in patients according to their response status. And you can see, over the 24-week duration of the study, in dark blue, the stable responder median platelet counts over time; in light blue, the nonresponders; and in orange, the placebo patients. The median platelet counts for the responder patients in both trials FIT-1 and FIT-2 was timely, robust and enduring compared to the nonresponders or the placebo patients. Over 60% of the responders did so in the first 2 weeks, with a median time to response of 15 days. The increase in platelet counts was significant, and the median platelet counts for the responder patients is 92,000. And the last and important point was the durability of response. The majority of stable [responderd] -- responders maintained the response for at least a year and -- so in the majority of cases for more than 2 years. The key point is that this platelet response was long lasting. In fact, the median duration of response has not been reached and as of now, exceeding 28 months. Of note, one patient in the control group had bouncing unstable platelets from very low level to high level and coming back to baseline without any intervention.

Slide 23 provides a frequency of bleeding episodes, reported as adverse events, comparing the Tavalisse group versus the placebo group. And you can see that fostamatinib-Tavalisse-treated patients had fewer bleeding episodes than placebo patients. In fact, this was even more striking among the fostamatinib responders who had no serious adverse events of bleeding in this category of responder patients. There are also fewer risk to medications in the fostamatinib-treated patients, especially among the responder patients.

Slide 22 provides a summary of the most frequent adverse events observed in the FIT-1 and FIT-2 program, both studies brought together, comparing the Tavalisse recipients to the placebo recipients. There was no new safety signal in the program compared to what we had observed in earlier development programs. Specifically, the most frequent adverse events are diarrhea, hypertension, nausea and increase in ALT. In the vast majority of cases, as indicated on the slide, these events are mild and/or moderate. And the important point is that they can be managed by regular medical monitoring of the patients, either adding the treatment -- symptomatic treatment when necessary or in some rare cases, reducing the dose or temporary interrupting treatment. So a well-identified, manageable safety profile.

As a result of these 3 studies, the fostamatinib was recently approved by the FDA and the label is -- indicate that Tavalisse is a kinase inhibitors indicated for the treatment of thrombocytopenia in adult patients with chronic immune thrombocytopenia, who have had an insufficient response to a previous treatment. This is a very good label. This is what we were hoping for, and it's similar to that of other approved products. And it allows the company to make Tavalisse available to wider range of patients who have failed other treatments.

So in summary, on Slide 24, ITP is a clinically heterogeneous and difficult-to-manage condition. There is a pool of patients that are refractory to treatment and that are in need of a treatment of a new novel option. Therefore, Tavalisse represents an additional options for these patients. It has the -- it targets a previously unexplored pathogenic mechanism of platelet destruction. It presents a convenient option to patients with a favorable tolerability profile and provides a clinically meaningful and durable platelet response. Eldon?

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Eldon C. Mayer, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - Executive VP & Chief Commercial Officer [5]

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Okay. Thank you, Anne-Marie. I'm happy to have the opportunity to provide some additional information and update you on some of our commercial plans. In particular, some of the topics that I'd like to cover are: number one, some additional perspective on the unmet need in adults with chronic ITP, the value proposition and addressable population, pricing and market access strategy as well as some overview on our commercial readiness and launch strategy. But first, I'd like to provide an overview of the ITP patient landscape and the addressable market for Tavalisse. From our market analysis, we estimate approximately 65,000 patients exist -- adult patients, that is, in the U.S. with chronic ITP. And this analysis also revealed that, in any given year, approximately 50% or 32,500 of those patients are not actively treated for their disease. However, over a longer period of time, portion of those patients would expect to join the treated population. For the other half of the 65,000 patients that are on treatment, we estimate that roughly 15,100 receive steroids during a given year. And the remaining 17,400 of the treated patients are known as steroid refractory. And they would receive treatments such as anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody, TPO agents, splenectomy, et cetera. And these patients represent the addressable market for Tavalisse.

Next, I'd like to review some other aspects of the unmet need for this addressable market. As Anne-Marie mentioned, ITP is a complex chronic disease. And we know, from our market research, that patients and physicians do recognize the need for new treatment. So on this slide, we've shown some of the areas of unmet need before Tavalisse is available. First, existing treatment guidelines do not provide clear sequencing of therapy after steroids, and this results in wide variations in protocols used. So really, no clear treatment algorithm exists. Secondly, existing therapies do not target the immune-mediated platelet destruction through SYK pathway. And third, patients do experience varied, often suboptimal response to existing treatments. And again, this is due to the complex heterogeneous nature of the disease. And lastly, some patients experienced tolerability challenges with various therapies.

So on the next slide, you can see that we've outlined some of the potential benefits that Tavalisse can offer to patients. And these are appealing to both physicians and payers as well. So what that means is, for the value proposition for Tavalisse, that it gives patients a chance for a rapid, robust and durable response, while providing convenience of oral dosing, with the option of taking it with or without food, along with the manageable safety profile. In addition because of its rapid onset of efficacy, physicians should know quickly whether a patient will be a responder and if not, they can quickly switch them to another therapy.

This next slide, I will go over the pricing for Tavalisse. As you can see, the monthly list price or wholesale acquisition cost for Tavalisse is $9,450 or $113,400 annually. And this is for either the 100 or 150 milligram doses. And this is what's known as flat pricing. And this price is in parity to the existing oral TPO treatment, which has a dose-based pricing model that ranges from $8,255 per month for the 50 milligram dose to $12,382 for the 75 milligram dose. With this price and our access and support programs, we expect patient access to be similar to other drugs in the same class. And of course, our goal is to ensure good access to Tavalisse through our patient and practice support center, Rigel One Care. I will discuss this program in more detail in a moment.

Now I'd like to transition to talking about our customer-facing team. We've been fortunate enough to obtain a team with extensive experience in oncology, rare disease, launch as well as market access team with experience in distribution, patient services, health solutions as well as payer engagement. And to help support access of payers, we have national account managers calling on payers, along with medical affairs colleagues as part of that clinical exchange. And, of course, our sales team, we will launch with a team of 30 sales reps, in addition to accompanying sales management, of course, plus, in addition to our home office marketing team, we have some field-based marketing personnel to execute our regional marketing program and help us engage with key physicians. And lastly, although not part of the commercial team, it is important to note that our medical affairs team will have approximately 10 Medical Science Liaisons to help educate payers and health care providers about ITP and Tavalisse.

Now I'd like to provide some brief comments about our overall approach to this launch. In general, our initial goals are to gain awareness, access and to foster trial of Tavalisse. And toward that goal, our core efforts will be to focus on characterizing the unmet need in ITP, educating about the science and clinical profile of Tavalisse and highlighting appropriate candidates to treatment. So for physicians and KOLs, we'll focus on reaching hematologists and oncologists, who treat roughly 85% of the addressable population. We will also have ongoing engagement with key opinion leaders, including a team of MSLs, as I already mentioned. For patients, we will have some direct patient outreach and education as well as we will be engaging with patient advocacy organizations to help get the word out and support access where needed. And then lastly, for access and distribution, we will have a distribution network focused on providing patient access to Tavalisse, regardless of provider source as well as a robust offering of patient and practice support services. So with respect to timing, we do intend to officially promote -- begin promoting Tavalisse on May 29. And the ASCO meeting in early June provides an excellent opportunity for us to engage with the hematology/oncology community to continue to introduce Rigel and begin to execute on all these areas that I have reviewed.

And finally, I'd like to talk a little bit more about our efforts to support access for Tavalisse. Our commitment is to provide comprehensive support to patients and providers, which is why we created Rigel One Care. This patient and practice support center has been designed with the needs of patients as they progress in their therapy and the needs of providers and to assist in this process. So whether a patient is just starting therapy, if they have reached -- recently changed insurance, if they've lost insurance, or if they need additional information on the disease stage, reimbursement or how to access a product or may need assistance with co-pay, Rigel One Care will be there to provide the support.

So in summary, as outlined, there is a need -- an unmet need, that is, for adult chronic ITP patients and 4 additional treatments. Clearly, Tavalisse provides a good value for patients and for health care providers. We have some excellent programs in place for market access and to support that with our services. And, of course, we will be launch ready on May 29 and look forward to getting enrollment.

So with that, I'll turn the call over to Nelson for our Q1 financial review.

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Nelson D. Cabatuan, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - VP of Finance & Interim Principal Accounting Officer [6]

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Thank you, Eldon. We recently completed a successful financing of 16 million shares last month, with over $58 million in net proceeds. This allows us to extend a runway into Q4 2019, including a commercial launch cost for Tavalisse. We ended Q1 2018 with cash and short-term investments of over $94 million. We continued to evaluate ex-U. S. partnerships with Tavalisse and expect to have a European partner in Q4 2018. We continued to prepare for our product launch by the end of this month and look forward to reporting product revenues for Tavalisse in the future earnings call. We have completed the implementation of our financial systems to support a successful commercial launch as well as the system for aggregate spend and transparency reporting.

Some highlights on our Q1 '18 financial results. We reported the net loss of $24.4 million or $0.17 per share in Q1 '18 compared to a net loss of $15.3 million or $0.13 per share in Q1 '17. There were no contract revenues from collaborations in the first quarter of 2018 compared to $3.6 million in the first quarter of 2017, which was related to the payment received pursuant to collaboration agreement with BerGenBio. We reported total cost and expenses of $24.7 million in the first quarter of 2018 compared to $19.8 million in the first quarter of 2017 or an increase of $4.9 million, primarily due to a commercial launch preparation cost, including the hiring of our sales force. Back to you, Raul.

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Raul R. Rodriguez, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [7]

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Thank you, Nelson. In all, I think this has been a very good year for the company, one of our best. So let me remind you on our business strategy. We are delivering on that business strategy. We conducted a Phase III program in ITP with successful results, submitted the NDA. Now we have the approval of that NDA, and soon we will be commercializing Tavalisse in the U.S., so look forward to that.

So let me just summarize for you quickly what we covered on this call: one, there's an important medical need in the treatment of adult chronic ITP; two, we believe that Tavalisse provides an attractive package, which addresses many of those needs; a unique mechanism of action that addresses the underlying pathophysiology of ITP; a rapid response in platelets; a robust response in that platelets getting patients to a safe zone; a durable response that endures over many months; a manageable safety profile; all in a convenient oral delivery form with no dietary restrictions. We are working on making Tavalisse accessible to patients for which it's indicated, and we have chosen a price that achieves that, and it reflects the value that the product delivers. And we have built a commercial organization with tremendous expertise in this area. And we have a strategy, I believe, for a successful entry into the market and for long-term growth of the product.

So with that, I'd like to turn it over to your questions.

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(Operator Instructions) And your first question comes from Eun Yang from Jefferies.

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Kyung Yang, Jefferies LLC, Research Division - MD & Senior Equity Research Analyst [2]

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I have 3 questions. One, for fostamatinib in ITP. Current consensus for this year is a little over $5 million, and next year is a little over $40 million. So I want to ask you how you feel about the consensus numbers. And two, in terms of the second indication, autoimmune hemolytic anemia, are you planning to apply for a breakthrough designation, or have you applied? And third one is, you are scheduled to meet with the FDA for the second indication, and hopefully, provide us with an update, but what should we expect when you update us from the FDA meeting?

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Raul R. Rodriguez, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [3]

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Thank you, Eun. Appreciate that. So in terms of the forecast -- revenue forecast for this year, we haven't as yet provided any guidance. So let us consider that and come back at a later point on that topic.

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Eldon C. Mayer, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - Executive VP & Chief Commercial Officer [4]

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Sure. And then -- this is Eldon. I just will chime in there, of course, and just -- of course, a couple of things. One is that, as you know, we'll be launching essentially midyear. So what we will have is a partial year of sales. And so looking forward over the years, as we have patients which we would hope would stay on therapy and do well on the product. Going forward, those sales would carryover over time and continue to accumulate. So for this year because of that, it represents a relatively short period of time on therapy for each of those. In addition, one of our support programs that we will be offering is a free trial program, which will offer short-term therapies up to perhaps 1 month to assist with the access process. So that could have a very short-term effect, given it's only a (inaudible) year. So that's just one thing I wanted to add with that.

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Raul R. Rodriguez, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [5]

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So let us come back to you on this topic. On the second question on hemolytic anemia and our planned FDA interactions.

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Anne-Marie S. Duliege, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - Executive VP & Chief Medical Officer [6]

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So we're planning to -- we have asked for a meeting with the FDA, which quite likely will happen sort of mid this year, and we will provide an update on the regulatory strategy after we meet with the FDA.

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Raul R. Rodriguez, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [7]

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On autoimmune hemolytic anemia.

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Kyung Yang, Jefferies LLC, Research Division - MD & Senior Equity Research Analyst [8]

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Yes, the breakthrough designation?

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Raul R. Rodriguez, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [9]

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We're still considering that, Eun, and we haven't made a decision on that.

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Operator [10]

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And our next question comes from line of Anupam Rama from JP Morgan.

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Tessa Thomas Romero, JP Morgan Chase & Co, Research Division - Analyst [11]

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This is Tessa filling in for Anupam this evening, and congratulations on all the progress. So maybe one from us, given the black label, what does your market research tell you about product positioning and line of use for Tavalisse out of the gate? Does the market research suggest there's any difference between how Tavalisse will be incorporated into the treatment paradigm between academics and the community settings? And then maybe one more related to this, if I could, has anything changed in terms of your strategy and physician education, given the broader label?

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Eldon C. Mayer, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - Executive VP & Chief Commercial Officer [12]

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Sure. So I will address -- try to address these questions separately. First is on the market research and sharing our product profile with physicians. Overall, the response and looking at the overall product profile, efficacy, safety and convenience and things we mentioned. We were delighted by the response overall. And what we heard is over time, because of the benefits that the product can provide, physicians do intend and would like to use it across all lines of therapy. Keeping in mind, there are many different approaches to treatment. So different doctors with different approaches will use them. But in overall, they would like to have access to it across all lines of therapy, ultimately. Now we have a label that supports that. So that's what we would expect to see over time. Of course, initially, during a launch and diseases like this, many patients -- many physicians will start using it later lines because they're more accustomed to using a therapy they have. But with continued exposure and good experience, we would expect that they will gradually begin moving that up. With that, of course, as I mentioned, as far as academic or community, we didn't really dissect the data in that way. And so I don't know that I can comment about different uptake, but we know that some academically based physicians may prefer to use TPO, so they may choose to use our product following TPOs. But, again, that's going to be highly variable. As far as our strategy of launch with the broad label, no, I can't say that, that would change anything. I think this is the label that we were expecting and hoping for. So we've had quite a bit of time to plan forward. So no surprises there or change to our overall strategy. We think our pricing and our access and our support programs and our promotional efforts are all connected and all tied together with a cohesive approach. So yes -- I hope that answer your question.

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Raul R. Rodriguez, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [13]

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And Tessa, just to remind you, I think the -- we are comfortable the product works across broad segments or subgroups of the audience. So we're delighted by that. So their label, hopefully, is consistent with that.

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Operator [14]

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Our next question comes from the line of Do Kim from BMO Capital Markets.

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Guyn Kim, BMO Capital Markets Equity Research - Analyst [15]

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For your commercial efforts, can you guess what the -- what proportion of the hemogs you could reach with your sales force? And whether you're able to determine who the higher -- highest prescribers of PROMACTA and Nplate are?

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Eldon C. Mayer, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - Executive VP & Chief Commercial Officer [16]

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Sure. The way I'd like to answer your question is to talk about how we selected the physicians that we'll be targeting and how many of them and give you some descriptions around those, and then I can try to address your question about access. So we did purchase data -- different types of data sources and took a look at who are the prescribers of ITP drug that are using -- treating ITP and essentially divided them up into, low, medium and high prescribers, and that's an overall -- just a generality on that approach. So in looking at that, selecting out the medium- to high-volume prescribers, we see that there are about 3,200 -- 3,250 to be exact, 350 of them are hematologists, and the remaining 2,800 are hematologists and oncologists. So that's how we essentially targeted. So with our 30 reps, they will each get a number of doctors and, of course, this will be somewhat fluid over time. We will also target them based on a number of things. Are they accessible? Do they manage a number -- a significant number of ITP patients, so we'll look to validate that. And then third, what is their response to our product profile and on our approach? So I think with that, in order to maximize access, which is always a challenge in this day and age, we have hired a sales team with extensive experience in oncology and hematology, who have access and relationships with these doctors. And so that was critically important for us as well, as some other members of our customer-facing team, to help us engage. So although I can't give you specific predictions for access, we're certainly looking to do everything possible to maximize that. So I hope that answer your question.

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Guyn Kim, BMO Capital Markets Equity Research - Analyst [17]

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Yes, great. And I was also hoping if you could give us a sense of what you expect the payer mix to be? And possibly what the gross net would be also?

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Eldon C. Mayer, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - Executive VP & Chief Commercial Officer [18]

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Sure. I'm going to provide a comment overall on the payer mix and then I'll ask my colleague, Gio Matthews, to chime in there on the payer mix. So first of all, let me say that we have spent significant time researching this in different ways, doing secondary research analysis and primary research of payers. In general, we see that the commercial -- based on this data, the commercial payers represent roughly 50% and that the government payers, including all of them, represent another 50%, roughly. So we will, of course, see what happens with our product, and we may be able to report more about that on -- in the future. So with that, let me ask Gio -- if you'd like to provide any additional color to that?

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Giovanna Matthews, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - Executive Director of Market Access [19]

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Thank you, Eldon. I think, absolutely that, our research has gained insight into that mix. We are conducting additional research, specifically, to understand exactly what that, that exact mix will be for our patient population. But we anticipate that being similar in our patient population and certainly can report back once we have a better understanding as we see patients coming through.

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Operator [20]

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(Operator Instructions) And our next question comes from the line of Chris Raymond from Piper Jaffray.

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Allison Marie Bratzel, Piper Jaffray Companies, Research Division - Research Analyst [21]

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This is Alli Bratzel on for Chris today. So I think you guys had said in the past that the PROMACTA launch is a good proxy for the Tavalisse launch trajectory. So I guess our question is why the PROMACTA launch is still a good guy, just considering that the ITP market has changed since PROMACTA was launching. Now there's 2 approved TPO agents on the market. So maybe you could just talk about changes in the overall ITP market since the TPOs entered and maybe how that impacts your own launch efforts.

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Eldon C. Mayer, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - Executive VP & Chief Commercial Officer [22]

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Sure. So this is Eldon, I'll take that. Well, we chose PROMACTA as a benchmark because it's an oral drug that's approved for ITP, obviously, but also, it will be managed through the same reimbursement channel, which is a pharmacy benefit, so it was the closest thing. Of course, that was launched very long time ago, when the market was very different. So in looking -- and as you probably know, we're not going to give any sort of forward-looking guidance on market shares or anything like that. But I can tell you that, given the fact that the market is more competitive now, we've taken that and then taken a discount from that in terms of uptake and share and all of that. But we do expect similar treatment with our pricing and with our approach from the payers, and we expect similar access to PROMACTA. So that's one comment I can provide on that.

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Operator [23]

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And I'm seeing no further questions. I will now like to turn the call back to Raul for closing remarks.

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Raul R. Rodriguez, Rigel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - President, CEO & Director [24]

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Well, first, I want to thank you for your support over these years. I think it's been an interesting and in some cases, long journey. I think I'm glad to say, we finally have arrived with an approval and soon, with the launch of this product. I think it lends to the company a very different trajectory, and I'm delighted to be part of it. And most of all, I'm grateful for you for providing us the resources to allow us to do this and look forward to reporting further promising results for you in the near future. Thank you.

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Operator [25]

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Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for participating in today's conference. This does conclude the program. You may now disconnect. Everyone, have a great day.