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Who’s Following Viking Therapeutics’ NASH Pipeline?

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Oct. 3 2018, Updated 12:07 p.m. ET

VK2809

Viking Therapeutics’ (VKTX) product candidate VK2809 is undergoing a Phase 2 trial for the treatment of patients with hypercholesterolemia and fatty liver disease.

In June, Viking Therapeutics completed enrolment for this trial. In October 2017, the company announced positive final results from an eight-week study of the drug for the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (or NASH). In this study, VK2809 showed significant reductions in liver triglyceride content and total liver lipid content and significant changes in the expression of genes associated with NASH development and progression. The results suggested improved lipid and cholesterol metabolism, improved lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity, and reduced fibrotic activity.

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On October 1, the company reported positive top line results from its Phase 2 study of VK2809 for the treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and elevated LDL-cholesterol patients. The drug showed a statistically significant reduction in LDL-C in patients and 57%–60% median liver fat reduction.

Bottom line

Viking Therapeutics’ general and administrative expenses increased from $1.27 million in the second quarter of 2017 to $1.70 million in the second quarter of 2018 due to higher salary and benefits expenses as well as increased stock-based compensation expenses. The company’s total operating expenses increased from $4.98 million in the second quarter of 2017 to $6.93 million in the second quarter of 2018.

Viking Therapeutics had a net income of -$6.71 million in the second quarter compared to its net income of -$5.17 million in the second quarter of 2017. This translated into a net income per share of -$0.13 in the second quarter of 2018. Its net income per share was -$0.21 in the second quarter of 2017. Despite the fall in its net income, Viking Therapeutics’ net income per share improved due to an increase in its outstanding share count from ~24.12 million in the second quarter of 2017 to ~52.77 million in the second quarter of 2018.

We’ll take a look at Viking Therapeutics’ valuations in the next article.

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