For traders looking for a potential breakout, recent action in Viking Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: VKTX) should be on your radar. The stock’s recent consolidation has narrowed to a head just above the $10/share level. Helping to fuel the action and a potential breakout, the company just announced its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2018, and provided an update on its clinical pipeline and other corporate developments.
“Viking continued to make excellent progress with multiple programs in the second quarter,” stated Brian Lian, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Viking Therapeutics. “With respect to VK5211, our novel selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM), we are honored to have an opportunity to present the results of our Phase 2 study in hip fracture patients at the plenary session of the upcoming conference of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research. We are also very pleased to have completed enrollment in the Phase 2 trial of our novel thyroid receptor beta agonist VK2809 in patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and elevated LDL cholesterol. We look forward to reporting the results from this study in the fall. Finally, both of our rare disease programs continued to advance toward clinical development. With respect to our glycogen storage disease (GSD) Ia program, we expect to initiate dosing with VK2809 in a proof-of-concept study later this quarter. And, with respect to our VK0214 program in X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD), we are conducting the pre-IND work that should allow us to initiate a proof-of-concept trial in 2019.”
Who is Viking?
Viking Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ: VKTX) casts itself as a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel, first-in-class or best-in-class therapies for metabolic and endocrine disorders.
At this time, carrying a capital value in the market of $633.87M, VKTX has a significant war chest ($34.6M) of cash on the books, which is balanced by virtually no total current liabilities. The company is pre-revenue at this point but has an active R&D division with new catalysts set to hit very soon.
The company’s research and development activities leverage its expertise in metabolism to develop innovative therapeutics designed to improve patients’ lives. The company’s clinical programs include VK5211, an orally available, non-steroidal selective androgen receptor modulator.
In a Phase 2 trial in patients recovering from hip fracture, patients who received VK5211 experienced significant improvements in measures of lean body mass compared to patients who received placebo. The company’s second clinical program is evaluating VK2809, a small molecule thyroid beta agonist in a Phase 2 trial for the treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and hypercholesterolemia.
The company is also developing VK0612, a first-in-class, orally available drug candidate in Phase 2 development for type 2 diabetes. Additional programs include novel and selective agonists of the thyroid beta receptor for GSD Ia and X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy, as well as two earlier-stage programs targeting metabolic diseases and anemia.
Viking holds exclusive worldwide rights to a portfolio of five therapeutic programs in clinical trials or preclinical studies, including those noted above, which are based on small molecules licensed from Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated.
Underneath the Surface
As noted above, shares of the stock have been in a narrowing symmetric triangle over the past 3 months, with the $10/share level recently acting as key support.
Among other things, in its recent report, the company disclosed that its VK5211 Phase 2 study results were selected for plenary presentation at ASBMR annual meeting. In other words, more exposure and the potential for some new revelations may be on the way in just over a month for VKTX.
According to the release, “VK5211 is an orally available, non-steroidal SARM designed to selectively stimulate muscle and bone formation with reduced activity in peripheral tissues such as skin and prostate. In July 2018, the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) selected the results of the company’s Phase 2 study of VK5211 in hip fracture for presentation as part of the oral plenary session at the ASBMR 2018 annual meeting. The presentation, scheduled for September 30, will highlight the efficacy, safety and tolerability data from the completed Phase 2 clinical trial. The ASBMR 2018 annual meeting is being held September 28 – October 1, 2018, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.”
We will update the story again soon as further details emerge.