A whirlwind of excitement swept through the stock market as clinical-stage biotech Viking Therapeutics (NASDAQ:VKTX) skyrocketed by 15% on Monday following the news of Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY) agreeing to acquire the peer obesity drugmaker, Carmot Therapeutics (CRMO), in a deal potentially worth up to $3.1 billion.
Viking (VKTX), much like its peer Carmot (CRMO), has a revolutionary dual GLP-1/GIP agonist drug candidate in development, offering a glimmer of hope in the battle against various metabolic disorders, including obesity.
In October, the company unveiled promising results from a Phase 1 trial assessing VK2735. After just 28 days of once-weekly VK2735, trial subjects experienced a substantial reduction in liver fat content and plasma lipid levels.
Viking’s shares have soared by an impressive 52.7% year-to-date. Meanwhile, Carmot set off on a path to raise approximately $100 million through an initial public offering in November.
The future looks promising for both drugmakers, as they are poised to capitalize on the burgeoning weight loss and obesity segment, with major pharmaceutical companies expanding their presence in this rapidly growing market. Notable players conducting studies on oral weight loss drugs include Eli Lilly (LLY) and Novo (NVO). Other relevant companies in the field are Amgen (AMGN) and Altimmune (ALT). Although Pfizer (PFE) is also in the race, its recent decision to switch trials from a two-dose regimen for its weight loss candidate to a single-dose resulted in an investor frenzy.
Viking is anticipated to announce the results from its Phase 2 trial of VK2735 in patients with obesity in the first half of 2024.