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Biotech Analysis Central Preview Series: Viking Therapeutics

Mar. 13, 2021 8:17 AM ETViking Therapeutics, Inc. (VKTX)MDGL
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This is a preview blog series on what you can expect when subscribing to my "Biotech Analysis Central" service marketplace. For the full article you must subscribe to my service. This is just an intro of two snippets on the research articles that are written. Thus far, there are about 300+ research reports on both both small-cap and mid-cap biotech stocks with full analysis of the pipeline, catalysts, financials, and clinical trial analysis. If you want to read more then please subscribe to my marketplace service. As always I offer a 2-week free trial just to show you how helpful my service is. You can cancel anytime before the 2-week free trial is up and never be charged a dime.

First Section Of Marketplace Article (This article piece was originally written on March 5, 2021)

Viking therapeutics (VKTX) has good long-term prospects .The reason why I wanted to go over this biotech next is because the stock traded as high as $9.67 per share back on February 5, 2021. Since then, the stock has been trading lower to where it is now at around $6.82 per share. However, I believe that the 1st half of 2021 provides a good potential speculative opportunity. Viking Therapeutics anticipates that it will release single ascending dose (SAD) and multiple-ascending dose (MAD) data for its drug VK0214 for treating patients with a rare disease known as X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD). This data is expected in the 1st half of 2021 and it will determine if the company can move on to initiate a proof of concept phase 1b study. It is highly likely that the next study will be a randomized placebo controlled study and deal more on the efficacy front. However, the current data to be released should give investors/plus management some idea about whether or not the drug does work a bit for this patient population. The main thing that I wanted to go over for the NASH drug VK2809 is that enrollment for the phase 2b study is expected to be completed by the end of 2021. That would put results either at the end of 2021 or early 2022. It is my opinion that I would expect a run up possibly for the stock as the company nears the end of this year. Plus, as noted above, the value of the stock is better now that it has dropped since hitting a high back in February of 2021. Can it drop more? Possibly, if the market sinks lower, then there might be another opportunity to get a better chance at buying it. For instance, it has proven success using VK5211 for patients with fracture surgery. A phase 2 study was successful and the company is looking to partner this product before moving it forward. The last point I want to make in this summary is that VK2809 for NASH, is a receptor-subtype selective agonist of the thyroid hormone receptor beta. Why is that important? That's because Madrigal Pharmaceuticals (MDGL) uses the very same type of drug to treat patients with NASH and has already seen much success. Since Madrigal Pharmaceuticals has proven the model with this type of a drug (TRB), my belief is that Viking should also. Madrigal has already proven the drug in phase 2 studies, and is currently enrolling patients in two phase 3 studies. Because of this, I view Viking as having major potential. If Madrigal proves its TRB drug in phase 3, then that just builds even more evidence that Viking should then be able to either partner VK2809 for NASH or eventually be bought out.

Conclusion Of Marketplace Article

The Final Verdict is that Viking Therapeutics is a good long-term biotech to own. Is it somewhat still risky? In a way yes, but I think that the approach of using a THR beta agonist for treating NAFLD has been validated because of the positive data obtained by Madrigal. Plus, if you look at the phase 2 data released by Viking itself, VK2809 was able to greatly reduce liver fat content compared to placebo. The NASH market is large and it could result in a lot of revenues for Viking Therapeutics, should it eventually receive FDA approval for VK2809 for this indication. It is estimated that the NASH market could be $35 billion in the coming years. I think that Viking has a good shot based on its mechanism of action. In addition, Genfit had failed its study so it is shutting down the NASH program. Intercept Pharmaceuticals' future is still up in the air. Only if the FDA will allow them to refile their submission early, can they possibly see a recovery. Otherwise it won't be good news for the company. That's because if Intercept has to complete its phase 3 study, it could be several years to obtain that needed data. That would not only put it behind the competition, but not even guarantee FDA approval. Viking has a good shot at succeeding. As noted above, Akero Therapeutics is the competing NASH company to watch for the future, besides Madrigal. The thing is this biotech has already established VK2809 not only to treat NASH, but to potentially target other large markets like Type 2 Diabetes. You see, VK2809 was licensed from Ligand Pharmaceuticals. As such, Viking will likely have to pay royalties to it for future net sales on this product. Back in 2014, Ligand Pharmaceuticals licensed about 5 drugs to Viking. At least the company does have a backup product for now, which is the X-ALD indication. Hopefully preliminary safety data coming up in the 1st half of 2021 is highly positive and the company can move on to the next study.

Analyst's Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

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