Brian Lian, Viking Therapeutics CEO

Viking soars on ear­ly-stage weight loss da­ta as it maps out PhII

Viking Ther­a­peu­tics will en­ter the next phase of the GLP-1 weight loss race, as the small biotech tout­ed ear­ly da­ta show­ing its in­ves­ti­ga­tion­al drug led to a drop of as much as 6% more body weight than a place­bo.

With re­search still in the be­gin­ning stages of hu­man test­ing, Viking’s drug will re­quire more fleshed-out da­ta in a Phase II clin­i­cal tri­al, which the San Diego biotech said will start in the mid­dle of this year. Viking hopes the da­ta will help carve a slice of a mar­ket dom­i­nat­ed by No­vo Nordisk and Eli Lil­ly, with Am­gen on their heels and Al­tim­mune try­ing to push for­ward de­spite dis­pleas­ing in­vestors last week. The com­pa­nies are de­vel­op­ing drugs that have caused a fren­zy on so­cial me­dia, in Hol­ly­wood and in broad­er con­ver­sa­tions about weight loss drugs and their place in so­ci­ety.

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