Viking Therapeutics weight reduction drug reveals promising trial outcomes


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Shares of Viking Therapeutics closed greater than 120% larger on Tuesday after the corporate’s experimental weight reduction drug confirmed promising preliminary outcomes in a mid-stage trial. 

Viking Therapeutics is certainly one of a number of small weight problems drugmakers hoping to enter the budding weight reduction drug trade, which analysts say might develop right into a $100 billion market by the tip of the last decade. 

However it might not be part of that area by itself: Analysts have urged that bigger pharmaceutical corporations similar to Pfizer, which scrapped two of its personal weight reduction drug candidates final 12 months, might probably transfer to accomplice with or purchase an organization like Viking Therapeutics. Tuesday’s share transfer places Viking Therapeutics’ market worth at roughly $8.5 billion.

The trial adopted greater than 170 sufferers with weight problems or who’re chubby, a few of whom obtained totally different dose sizes of the injectable drug or a placebo.

Those that obtained weekly doses of the remedy misplaced as much as 14.7% of their physique weight from baseline, or 13.1% when adjusted for placebo, after 13 weeks. 

As much as 88% of sufferers who obtained the drug, often called VK2735, achieved a minimum of 10% weight reduction, in contrast with simply 4% of those that did not obtain the remedy. 

Notably, there was no proof of a plateau in weight discount at week 13 for any dose of the drug, suggesting that “additional weight reduction is likely to be achieved” by holding sufferers on the remedy longer, Viking CEO Brian Lian mentioned throughout a name with traders. 

The drug demonstrated “encouraging” security in sufferers following the 13-week trial interval. Sufferers additionally appeared to tolerate the drug nicely. 

Round 4% of sufferers who obtained any dose measurement of the remedy discontinued the research early in contrast with roughly 6% of these within the placebo group.

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Nearly all of adversarial occasions that sufferers skilled after beginning the drug – often known as treatment-emergent adversarial occasions – have been gentle or reasonable in severity. Lots of these occasions have been gastrointestinal, which is usually seen throughout all weight reduction and diabetes therapies.

That features nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and constipation.

Viking plans to current the complete Part 2 knowledge at medical conferences. The corporate additionally mentioned it plans to satisfy with the Meals and Drug Administration to debate additional steps for the event of VK2735.

Individually, the corporate mentioned it expects to launch early stage trial knowledge on an oral model of its weight reduction drug.

Viking Therapeutics’ drug targets GLP-1 and one other hormone known as GIP. These are the identical hormones that Eli Lilly’s weight reduction and diabetes medicine, Zepbound and Mounjaro, goal.

Deutsche Financial institution analysts mentioned in a be aware Tuesday that Viking Therapeutics’ new knowledge reveals that the load loss drug market might finally be greater than a “duopoly” of Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly, which manufacture probably the most sought-after therapies.

However the analysts added that manufacturing the therapies “at scale to satisfy outsized demand has confirmed to be no simple feat,” so that provides Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly a “defensive moat.”

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