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Viking Therapeutics (NASDAQ: $VKTX) Surges 16+% on Tuesday on Promising Weigh Loss Pill Trial Results 

Viking Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: $VKTX)

Viking Therapeutics (NASDAQ: $VKTX) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company located in San Diego, CA, focused on pioneering therapies for metabolic and endocrine conditions. It targets conditions like non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and glycogen storage disease, aiming to deliver innovative therapies that enhance patient outcomes. 

On March 26, 2024, Viking Therapeutics announced positive results from its Phase 1 multiple ascending dose (MAD) clinical trial of VK2735, an oral tablet designed to address metabolic conditions such as obesity.  

VK2735 is formulated to mimic the effects of GLP-1 and GIP hormones, which regulate appetite and blood glucose levels. Additionally, it slows gastric emptying, similar to Lilly’s Zepbound. In contrast, Lilly’s Retatrutide injection targets an additional hormone receptor, glucagon, while their weight-loss pill, Orforglipron, solely focuses on GLP-1. 

Viking Therapeutics Reports Significant Weight Reduction 

The 28-day MAD study showed positive results with oral VK2735 treatment. Those treated with VK2735 experienced dose-dependent decreases in average body weight, up to 5.3% and up to 3.3% compared to placebo. At doses of 10 mg or higher, the average weight loss persisted or improved six days after treatment completion, with a maximum of 3.6% compared to placebo. Notably, around 57% of VK2735-treated participants achieved at least 5% weight loss. 

According to analyst Thomas Smith from Leerink Partners, the findings surpassed Viking’s anticipated placebo-adjusted weight loss range of 1% to 2%. Participants taking Viking’s pill lost 3% more weight than the placebo group. Nonetheless, preliminary analysis indicates that prolonged treatment beyond 28 days could yield further decreases in body weight. 

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Promising Tolerance Results 

Regarding safety and tolerability, K2735 showed favorable outcomes after 28 days of once-daily dosing. Most reported adverse events were mild or moderate, with no severe incidents noted. Specifically, gastrointestinal (GI) adverse events were mostly mild, and there was no significant difference between the VK2735 and placebo groups. Only 14% of participants experienced mild nausea, with no instances of vomiting or constipation. Additionally, only one patient reported diarrhea. 

Oral VK2735 Phase 2 Trial Ahead 

Looking ahead, Viking intends to continue dose escalation in the study. Additionally, plans are in place for a Phase 2 trial of oral VK2735 in obesity patients, slated to commence in the latter part of 2024. 

The Phase 1 MAD study is an integral facet of Viking’s broader Phase 1 single ascending dose (SAD)/MAD trial of VK2735. It’s a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study focusing on safety, tolerability, and exploratory measures of changes in body weight and other metrics in healthy adults with a minimum body mass index of 30 kilograms per meter squared. 

VKTX Stock Update 

Viking Therapeutics (VKTX) stock witnessed a remarkable 16.8% surge on Tuesday, March 26, closing at $80.83. This substantial rise propelled the company’s market capitalization to approximately $8.724 billion. Conversely, competitors Eli Lilly and Novo Nordisk experienced only modest increases in their share values. On Wednesday, March 27, the stock retreated 1.91% as of 10:35 AM EDT to $79.29 per share. 

Over the past year, Viking’s stock demonstrated exceptional growth, with a 52-week change percentage of 407.41%. This stellar performance surpassed the S&P500’s 52-week change of 29.19%. The stock climbed to a high of $99.41 and dipped to a low of $8.28, exhibiting resilience. With a 50-day moving average of $47.43 and an average trading volume of 6.29 million shares over the past 10 days, Viking Therapeutics had approximately 107.93 million shares outstanding. 

Viking Therapeutics, Inc. (VKTX)
Viking Therapeutics (NASDAQ: $VKTX)

Viking Therapeutics: A Strong Buy Opportunity 

Viking Therapeutics reached a pivotal moment with the favorable Phase 1 results for its weight loss pill, a potential treatment for metabolic disorders, garnering widespread attention from investors and analysts. 

Financial experts enthusiastically endorse buying VKTX, projecting an average target price of $108.50. The stock’s recent upward trajectory underscores market confidence in Viking Therapeutics’ prospects as it progresses towards its Phase 2 trial and beyond. 

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