Viking Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: VKTX) is flying early on in the trading session this morning, and for good reason. The company announced top line results from a Phase 2 clinical trial that proved to be overwhelmingly positive. Of course, the news excited investors, sending the stock on gains in multiples. Today, we’ll talk about:
- The data;
- what we’re seeing from VKTX stock as a result; and
- what we’ll be watching for ahead.
VKTX Announces Positive Clinical Results
As mentioned above, Viking Therapeutics is having an incredibly strong start to the trading session this morning after the company announced positive clinical data. In a press release issued early this morning, the company provided top-line results from a Phase 2 study looking into VKTX.
VK2809 is a novel liver-selective thyroid receptor beta agonist designed as a treatment for patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and elevated low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C).
In the release, the company said that the study met its primary endpoint, demonstrating statistically significant reductions in LDL-C compared to placebo. Also, the trial’s secondary endpoint was achieved. Patients treated with VK2809 experienced statistically significant reductions in liver fat content compared to placebo.
Finally, with no serious adverse events, the treatment was shown to be safe and well-tolerated.
In a statement, Rohit Loomba, MD, MHSc, Director at the NAFLD Research Center and Professor of Medicine at the University of California San Diego, had the following to offer about the treatment being developed by VKTX:
This proof-of-concept study demonstrates robust improvement in liver fat by VK2809 versus placebo. The trial utilized a state-of-the-art method, MRI-PDFF, as a non-invasive quantitative biomarker of changes in liver fat content. Previous studies by our group have shown that a 30% or greater reduction in MRI-PDFF is associated with higher odds of histologic response in NASH. The quantum of liver fat reduction along with LDL-lowering properties of VK2809 are potentially likely to be beneficial in patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) who have a significant risk of not only liver fibrosis progression but also cardiovascular disease.
The above statement was followed up by Brian Lian, Ph.D., CEO at VKTX. lHere’s what he had to offer:
We are encouraged by the preliminary efficacy and safety profile VK2809 has shown in this study… VK2809’s effect on liver fat at 12 weeks appears to exceed all other oral agents currently in development for NASH, supporting our view that VK2809 has a best-in-class profile. Based on published data from multiple studies, we anticipate that these liver fat reductions would result in longer-term histologic benefit. In addition, the improvement in lipid parameters observed in this study suggests potential benefits in cardiovascular health, an important consideration in this population. We look forward to pursuing further development of VK2809 in NASH.
What We’re Seeing From The Stock
One of the first lessons that we learn when we start to dig into the market is that the news leads to moves. In the case of Viking Therapeutics, the news proved to be overwhelmingly positive. After all, VK2809 is not only showing to be incredibly effective, it is proving itself to be safe and well-tolerated. So, it comes as no surprise that excited investors are sending the stock screaming for the top. As is almost always the case, our partners at Trade Ideas were the first to alert us to the gains. Currnetly (7:55), VKTX is trading at $25.50 per share after a gain of $15.11 per share or 145.43% thus far today.
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What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead
Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will continue to keep a close eye on VKTX. In particular, we’re interested in following the story surrounding the company’s continued work to bring VK2809 to market as the treatment seems to be yielding promising results. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to follow the story closely and bring the news to you as it breaks!
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