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Viking Therapeutics to move its oral obesity drug into Phase 2 study after early success

Viking Therapeutics said Tuesday that its closely watched oral obesity drug had succeeded in an early-stage trial and that it planned to advance the medicine into the next phase of development. 

The top-line results released Tuesday were only from a Phase 1 study, which primarily focuses on a drug’s safety. But Viking said that in the study, its medicine led to a roughly 3.3% placebo-adjusted average weight loss after four weeks and that it showed no safety issues.

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In preview notes, analysts had said that investors would want to see between 3% and 4% placebo-adjusted weight loss. Shares of San Diego-based Viking were up more than 20% in pre-market trading Tuesday.

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