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Why Viking Therapeutics Shares Are Finding Renewed Buying Interest

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Why Viking Therapeutics Shares Are Finding Renewed Buying Interest
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Viking Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: VKTX) shares — which cooled off following an 87-percent jump Sept. 18 in reaction to positive top-line results from the mid-stage trial of  VK2809 — were experiencing the return of upward momentum Tuesday.

The stock was up 1.79 percent at $11.94 at the time of publication. 

What Happened

Viking announced detailed results from the aforementioned study Monday after the close that further validated the efficacy results released in September.

The company made a late-breaking oral presentation at the Liver Meeting 2018, the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases held in San Francisco.

VK2809 is an oral, tissue and receptor-subtype selective agonist of the thyroid beta receptor possessing selectivity for liver tissues.

The top-line results of the study achieved the primary endpoint, Viking said: statistically significant reductions in LDL-C relative to a placebo following 12 weeks of treatment. The study also hit the the secondary endpoint: statistically significant reductions in liver fat content relative to the placebo.

VK2809 also demonstrated statistically significant improvement in other lipids such as the atherogenic proteins apolipoprotein B and lipoprotein, all pointing to cardiovascular benefits associated with the pipeline candidate.

More importantly, newly reported data at the conference from a super-responder analysis showed about 67 percent of VK2809-treated patients demonstrating 50-percent or more reduction in liver fat content.

Viking said no serious adverse events were reported among patients tested in the treatment as well as the control arms.

Why It's Important

New data that shows bout two-thirds of patients treated with VK2809 achieved at least a 50-percent reduction in liver fat in a relatively short duration of treatment is commendable, the company said.

"These robust liver fat content reductions combined with the improvements in levels of LDL-C suggest that VK2809 has a potential for both cardioprotective, as well as improvement in liver histology, in NASH patients in future trials," Rohit Loomba, director of the NAFLD Research Center, said in a statement.

What's Next

Citing the positive data, Viking said it is aggressively moving forward with further clinical trials of VK2809 in NASH, with the trials likely to be initiated in 2019.

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