Viking Therapeutics (Nasdaq: VKTX) New IPO April 24

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Viking Therapeutics (Nasdaq: VKTX)

Viking Therapeutics plans to make its second run at a US IPO this week. Since its original attempt in September, the Ligand Pharmaceuticals-backed biotech has slashed its proposed market cap by 60% and changed its lead candidate, which is set to begin Phase 2 trials later this year.

As noted by Seeking Alpha, VKTX is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical firm seeking to develop therapies for metabolic and endocrine disorders. The firm currently has a portfolio of five drug candidates in clinical or pre-clinical trials, the most advanced of which is VK0612, which is entering a Phase 2b clinical trial for type 2 diabetes scheduled to commence in early 2015 and to be completed in 2016. VK0612 helps to regulate blood glucose levels in diabetes patients by inhibiting an enzyme involved in the body’s synthesis of glucose. VKTX’s portfolio also includes treatments targeting Cancer Cachexia, Dyslipedmia, Obesity Dyslipidemia, and anemia.

Of these treatments, only VK5211 for Cancer Cachexia has begun clinical trials.

In the U.S., there are a variety of currently marketed oral type 2 diabetes therapies, including metformin (generic), pioglitazone (generic), glimepiride (generic), sitagliptin (Merck & Co., Inc. (MRK) ) and canagliflozin (Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).

In addition to the currently approved and marketed type 2 diabetes therapies, there are a number of experimental drugs that are in various stages of clinical development by companies such as Eli Lilly and Company, Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and TransTech Pharma, Inc. (TKPYY)

While Viking does have a broad portfolio of products in their portfolio, none are near the point of commercialization.

Viking is expected to price its 2.5 million share IPO within a range of $7-9.

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