Viking Therapeutics Shares Double on VK2809 Update, Analyst Review and Target

Viking Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: VKTX) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel, therapies for metabolic and endocrine disorders. Viking has exclusive worldwide rights to a portfolio of five therapeutic programs in clinical trials or preclinical studies, which are based on small molecules licensed from Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated.


2018 is off to an excellent start at Viking. With the completion of enrollment in Phase 2 clinical trial evaluating VK2809 for liver disease. The company also continued planning for a potential meeting with regulators regarding the next date for its SARM candidate VK5211 for hip fracture. Moreover, finally, it also advanced both of its earlier stage programs targeting glycogen storage disease and X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy.


On June 5th, the company announced that enrolment had been completed in the company’s ongoing Phase 2 clinical trial of VK2809 in patients with primary hypercholesterolemia and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).  VK2809 is a novel, orally available small molecule thyroid receptor agonist that possesses selectivity for liver tissue, as well as the beta receptor subtype, suggesting promise in this patient population. Viking expects to announce results from this trial in the second half of 2018.


The company has completed this important milestone in a time-bound manner and remain on track to report top-line results during the second half of this year.  The management believes that VK2809’s potent activity at the thyroid beta receptor may provide benefit to patients with the fatty liver disease, such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).


In vivo studies have shown that treatment with VK2809 leads to significant improvement in markers related to NASH development, severity, and progression.  In addition, prior clinical data in subjects with mild hypercholesterolemia have demonstrated that treatment with VK2809 results in significant reductions in LDL cholesterol, triglycerides and atherogenic proteins.


Before this, on May 9th, VKTX announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2018 and provided an update on its clinical pipeline and other corporate developments. The first quarter has been an exciting and productive period for Viking as it built upon the momentum from 2017.


Below is the program-wise update for the company:

  • Completes Enrolment in Phase 2 Study of VK2809 in Patients with Hypercholesterolemia and Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Top-Line Results Expected in Second Half of 2018
  • With its novel selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) VK5211, for hip fracture, it continued working toward a planned meeting with the FDA on potential next steps for the program. This meeting will occur in the second half of the year.
  • The company continued to advance its rare disease programs targeting glycogen storage disease (GSD) and X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD).  Viking expects to initiate a proof-of-concept trial for VK2809 in GSD Ia this quarter, and plan to complete IND-enabling studies for VK0214 in X-ALD later this year.  Each of these programs represents exciting future opportunities for Viking.



On the liquidity front, In the first quarter of 2018, Viking received a total of approximately $63 million in gross proceeds through the issuance of common stock. These proceeds will be used to support the company’s ongoing development programs, partnering efforts and other corporate activities. As of March 31, 2018, the company had $77.5 million in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term investments. According to the company, it believes that it has enough financial flexibility to sustain operations until Q2 of 2019. 


Viking’ scrip continues to be on the rapid growth trajectory, supported by positive clinical results/announcements and successfully financing from institutional investors. The market believes that the company is at a critical inflection point right now and 2018 is expected to be an incredible year for the company.


Considering recent developments, analysts see promise in the company and believe it will provide a robust fundamental appeal to the investors as well as momentum players trading the stock. Several brokerage firms have initiated coverage on the company, and the stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $14. 


About the company: Viking Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel, first-in-class or best-in-class therapies for metabolic and endocrine disorders.  The company’s research and development activities leverage its expertise in metabolism to develop innovative therapeutics designed to improve patients’ lives.  Viking has exclusive worldwide rights to a portfolio of five therapeutic programs in clinical trials or preclinical studies, which are based on small molecules licensed from Ligand Pharmaceuticals Incorporated.


Clinical Programs:

The company’s clinical programs include: VK5211, an orally available, non-steroidal selective androgen receptor modulator (SARM) in Phase 2 development for the treatment and prevention of lean body mass loss in patients who have undergone hip fracture surgery; and VK2809, a small molecule thyroid beta agonist in Phase 2 development for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).  Viking is also developing novel and selective agonists of the thyroid beta receptor for glycogen storage disease type 1a (GSD 1a) and X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD), as well as programs targeting diabetes, metabolic diseases and anemia.


First Quarter 2018 Results:

  • For the three months ended March 31, 2018, Viking reported a net loss of $3.6 million, and a basic net loss per share of $0.08, compared to a net loss of $5.2 million, and a basic net loss per share of $0.23, in the corresponding period in 2017.  The decrease in net loss for the three months ended March 31, 2018, was primarily due to the increase in income related to the decrease in fair value of debt conversion feature liability.


  • Research and development expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2018, were $3.0 million compared to $3.5 million for the same period in 2017.  The decrease was primarily due to decreased manufacturing expenses for drug candidates and a decrease in activities related to the VK5211 clinical development program, offset by an increase in certain pre-clinical efforts and an increase in the use of third-party consultants.


  • At March 31, 2018, Viking held cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments totaling $77.5 million.   As of April 30, 2018, Viking had 50,933,195 shares of common stock outstanding.


Key risk factors and potential stock drivers:

If one or more of their current drug candidates receive regulatory approval or gets commercialized, it would be a significant catalyst;

VKTX is a clinical-stage company and expects to incur substantial operating losses during the next stages of corporate development.

The company is dependent on technologies licensed from Ligand, and if they lose the license, their ability to develop existing and new drug candidates would be harmed.

The biotech space is a high-risk sector due to uncertainties associated with the novel drug development. Any adversities related with the same could upset the stock performance significantly.


Stock Chart:


  • On Tuesday, June 5th, 2018, VKTX was at $10.08, on volume of 1.3 million shares exchanging hands. Market capitalization is $475.207 million. The current RSI is steady at 79.18
  • In the past 52 weeks, shares of VKTX have traded as low as $0.88 and as high as $11.17
  • At $10.08, shares of VKTX are trading significantly above its 50-day moving average (MA) at $5.00 and above its 200-day moving average (MA) at $3.95
  • The present support and resistance levels for the stock are at $8.39 & $10.09 respectively.




Traders News Source is a wholly owned subsidiary of Traders News Source LLC, herein referred to as TNS LLC.
Traders News Source has not been compensated for this report by anyone and the opinions if any are that of the author Vikas Agrawal, CFA. Author’s Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I, wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in the article.
This web site, published by TNS LLC, and is an investment newsletter that is built on the premise of assisting individual investors in learning about investing. Our goal as publishers of financial information is to provide research and analysis of investments to our subscribers. TNS LLC does not give buy or sell recommendations. We do purchase distribution rights from analyst, financial writers and bloggers for a fee that may be licensed to issue price targets and recommendations. Furthermore, we encourage you to speak to a licensed professional prior to making an investment in any type of publicly traded security.
We do sell advertising to other companies including brokerage firms, web sites, publicly traded issuers, investor relations firms, and investment publications, among others. TNS LLC makes no warranty as to the policies of these organizations, and in no way endorses their offers, services, or the content of their advertisements.
When an advertiser is a publicly traded company or a third party acting on behalf of a public company, we fully disclose all compensation in the email advertisement. Such disclosure is included in a disclosure statement in each of the advertisements sent via email.
17B Disclosure
Our reports/releases are a commercial advertisement and are for general information purposes ONLY. We are engaged in the business of marketing and advertising companies for monetary compensation. Never invest in any stock featured on our site or emails unless you can afford to lose your entire investment. The disclaimer is to be read and fully understood before using our services, joining our site or our email/blog list as well as any social networking platforms we may use.
PLEASE NOTE WELL: TNS LLC and its employees are not a Registered Investment Advisor, Broker Dealer or a member of any association for other research providers in any jurisdiction whatsoever.
Release of Liability: Through use of this website viewing or using you agree to hold TNS LLC, its operator’s owners and employees harmless and to completely release them from any and all liability due to any and all loss (monetary or otherwise), damage (monetary or otherwise), or injury (monetary or otherwise) that you may incur. The information contained herein is based on sources which we believe to be reliable but is not guaranteed by us as being accurate and does not purport to be a complete statement or summary of the available data. TNS LLC encourages readers and investors to supplement the information in these reports with independent research and other professional advice. All information on featured companies is provided by the companies profiled or is available from public sources and TNS LLC makes no representations, warranties or guarantees as to the accuracy or completeness of the disclosure by the profiled companies. None of the materials or advertisements herein constitute offers or solicitations to purchase or sell securities of the companies profiled herein and any decision to invest in any such company or other financial decisions should not be made based upon the information provide herein. Instead TNS LLC strongly urges you conduct a complete and independent investigation of the respective companies and consideration of all pertinent risks. Readers are advised to review SEC periodic reports: Forms 10-Q, 10K, Form 8-K, insider reports, Forms 3, 4, 5 Schedule 13D.
TNS LLC is compliant with the Can Spam Act of 2003. TNS LLC does not offer such advice or analysis, and TNS LLC further urges you to consult your own independent tax, business, financial and investment advisors. Investing in micro-cap and growth securities is highly speculative and carries an extremely high degree of risk. It is possible that an investor’s investment may be lost or impaired due to the speculative nature of the companies profiled.
The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 provides investors a ‘safe harbor’ in regard to forward-looking statements. Any statements that express or involve discussions with respect to predictions, expectations, beliefs, plans, projections, objectives, goals, assumptions or future events or performance are not statements of historical fact may be “forward looking statements”. Forward looking statements are based on expectations, estimates, and projections at the time the statements are made that involve a number of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those presently anticipated. Forward looking statements in this action may be identified through use of words such as “projects”, “foresee”, “expects”, “will”, “anticipates”, “estimates”, “believes”, “understands”, or that by statements indicating certain actions & quote; “may”, “could”, or “might” occur.
Understand there is no guarantee past performance will be indicative of future results. In preparing this publication, TNS LLC has relied upon information supplied by its customers, publicly available information and press releases which it believes to be reliable; however, such reliability cannot be guaranteed. Investors should not rely on the information contained in this website. Rather, investors should use the information contained in this website as a starting point for doing additional independent research on the featured companies. The advertisements in this website are believed to be reliable, however, TNS LLC and its owners, affiliates, subsidiaries, officers, directors, representatives and agents disclaim any liability as to the completeness or accuracy of the information contained in any advertisement and for any omissions of materials facts from such advertisement. TNS LLC is not responsible for any claims made by the companies advertised herein, nor is TNS LLC responsible for any other promotional firm, its program or its structure.