Lessons From In Re Rigel Pharmaceuticals

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Originally published in Law360, New York (September 19, 2012, 10:56 AM ET)

In In re Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc. Securities Litigation (9th Cir. Sept. 6, 2012), the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a putative securities class action against Rigel Pharmaceuticals Inc., certain of Rigel’s directors and officers, and underwriters of Rigel’s February 2008 stock offering.

In a published opinion, the court held plaintiffs failed to sufficiently plead a false or misleading statement, and that the complaint’s allegations failed to meet the heightened requirements for pleading scienter under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. In so holding, the Ninth Circuit held that mere disagreement with statistical methodology employed in a clinical drug trial is not sufficient to state a securities fraud claim.

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