Viking Therapeutics, a small biotechnology company, said Tuesday that its experimental medicine led patients to lose as much as 6% more body weight than those on placebo in just 28 days.
The results are from a small, early Phase 1 study, and the drug will require much more research in studies of thousands of patients in order to establish its efficacy and safety. But the results, made public in a press release, were so promising that they led investors to bid the company’s stock up 45% in early morning trading.
Viking’s medicine, VK2735, is one of an increasingly popular class of diabetes and weight loss drugs that target a hormone called GLP-1, short for glucagon-like peptide 1, that regulates blood sugar metabolism and appetite. Two of these medicines, Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic and Eli Lilly’s Mounjaro, have become both big sellers and the subject of extensive discussion on social media and in the press for their ability to help patients lose substantial amounts of weight.
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