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An experimental pill from Viking Therapeutics (VKTX) reduced liver fat in patients with early signs of fatty liver disease, according to results from a mid-stage clinical trial announced Tuesday.

The promising clinical trial results thrust Viking into the mix of companies racing to develop new treatments for NASH, the commonly used acronym for non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, a chronic disease in which fat accumulates in the liver.


Rising obesity rates in the U.S. have put millions of people at risk for NASH, which in its later stages can cause cirrhosis and liver failure. But there are no currently approved treatments, which is why Viking, Madrigal Pharma, Gilead Sciences, Intercept Pharma, and other drug makers view NASH as the next blockbuster commercial opportunity.

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