Viking Therapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:VKTX) is at present testing VK2809. It is the thyroid hormone receptor beta agonist which is in Phase 2 clinical trial in patients suffering from hypercholesterolemia and fatty liver disease. Currently, the company is enrolling patients having elevated cholesterol and fatty liver disease.
The assessment is being made by liver fat content by MRI-PDFF. The evaluation will be made on the basis of primary endpoint obtained after assessing changes in LDL cholesterol after 12 weeks of treatment with exploratory endpoints. These endpoints will evaluate changes in liver fat content, histological changes, and inflammatory markers.
The company is expecting top line results in the early months of this year. Incidentally, Madrigal Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:MDGL) is working on the same lines as Viking Therapeutics and currently testing MGL-3196 which is also a beta agonist in a Phase 2 study involving 125 patients with liver biopsy-confirmed NASH. Experts believe that since both are a beta agonist, the clinical trial of VK2809 is most likely to show results similar to MGL-3196. The similarity is more likely because both compounds show almost similar activity when it comes to reducing lipid profiles.
MGL-3196 Phase 2 Study Shows Reduction Of Liver Fat
It has been known for a long time that thyroid receptor agonists substantially lower cholesterol. But because of unintended consequences of spiking thyroid hormones in other areas of the body the trials and studies have failed repeatedly to advance positively in this direction. That is why; the recent development of MGL-3196 from Madrigal is a big deal for patients with poorly-controlled hypercholesterolemia and NASH.
The primary endpoint of the Phase 2 study of MGL-3196 is a reduction of liver fat within 12 weeks as compared to baseline, assessed by MRI-PDFF. The efficacy was confirmed at the end of the trial that continued for 36 weeks. Prior to the recent announcement, Madrigal had announced 12-week results in December last year showing significant statistical results for the patients treated with MGL-3196 showing around 30% reduction in liver fat.