Viking sails through early test

If comparing results from different trials is imperfect, comparing a phase 1 trial in a handful of patients with pivotal readouts in over a thousand really is a stretch. Nonetheless today’s early data on Viking Therapeutics’ obesity candidate VK2735 already have industry watchers suggesting the GIP/GLP-1 co-agonist is a rival for Wegovy and Mounjaro. The dose-ranging trial showed statistically significant weight loss over placebo for the highest three doses, injected once weekly, after just a month’s treatment – and with markedly bigger margins than those seen at the same time point in the pivotal trials of Novo Nordisk and Lilly’s drugs. Viking also dodged the fate suffered by Altimmune last week, since VK2735’s safety was clean, with only one serious adverse event and no discontinuations. Early as they are, the data justify Viking’s decision to move into phase 2, which will evaluate higher doses, mid-year. An extension of the phase 1 trial using an oral version of VK2735 could yield 28-day results in the second half of 2023. With Viking’s stock up 51% in early trade, investors must hope the company's looming phase 2b Nash readout, with the project VK2809, continues the momentum. 

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