The star Rigel, used by sailors for navigation, is in the constellation Orion, also known as "The Hunter." While Rigel's constellation hunts Taurus the bull, Rigel Inc. is hunting signaling pathways and targets for drug development using libraries of peptide-encoding retroviruses. The company plans to apply its technology in cell-based assays relevant to several disease processes.

Co-founder Garry Nolan, of the department of molecular pharmacology and gene therapy center of Stanford University, has established methods for creating up to 5 billion different retroviruses that contain distinct peptides that can infect individual cells in culture. This leads to a collection of cells, either primary culture or established cell lines, where each cell expresses a unique peptide.