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Viking Thereapeutics soars on results of liver disease study

"The preliminary findings suggesting the potential triglyceride-lowering activity of VK2809 in GSD Ia are encouraging," said Professor Dwight Koeberl of Duke University School of Medicine.
Liver
Middle-age spread can lead to fatty liver disease

The value of Viking Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:VKTX) increased by one-sixth in pre-market trading after it unveiled positive results from a proof of concept study.

The clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel therapies for metabolic and endocrine disorders announced positive initial results from a proof-of-concept study of VK2809 on a remedy for a liver condition known as GSD Ia.

Data to date showed that treatment with VK2809 produced rapid and substantial reductions in liver triglyceride content, liver weight and liver weight as a percentage of body weight compared with standard treatments.

"These initial proof-of-concept data showing VK2809's activity in this model of GSD Ia are very encouraging. Due to its unique liver-targeted activity, we believe that VK2809 has a therapeutic profile that may align well with the treatment goal of reducing triglycerides, steatosis, and mitigating the metabolic complications of GSD Ia," said Brian Lian, Ph.D., chief executive officer of Viking. 

"GSD Ia is a rare metabolic disease for which there are no approved therapeutics. These patients suffer from a range of serious consequences, including an increased risk of liver bleeding, transplant, or cancer.  Our work in this area represents a strategic and complementary addition to our ongoing VK2809 development program, which currently includes a Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with hypercholesterolemia and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease," Lian said.

Shares in Viking were up 26 cents to US$1.83 in screen-based trading ahead of the official market open.

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