The enticing prospect – and proven worth – of dually agonizing the glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP) receptors gained more evidence in a big way from Viking Therapeutics Inc. with VK-2735 in a phase II weight loss study. Shares of San Diego-based Viking Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:VKTX) closed Feb. 27 at $85.05, up $46.57, or 121%, as investors learned that the drug achieved the primary and all secondary endpoints in the phase II study called Venture, with significant body-weight drops at all doses compared to placebo.
The U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has given people looking to lose weight another treatment option by recommending endoscopic sleeve gastroplasty (ESG) as a therapy to help treat obesity. The move comes amidst increasing awareness of the disease brought on by the growing prevalence of GLP-1 agonists.
The demand for semaglutide, a GLP-1 drug, and other popular prescription weight-loss drugs is adding to the U.S. FDA’s regulatory load as more and more companies are offering unapproved knockoffs of the products directly to consumers. The FDA posted two warning letters Feb. 13 – to Miami-based US Chem Labs and a New-York company, Synthetix Inc. doing business as Helix Chemical Supply – citing the companies for misbranding unapproved semaglutide and tirzepatide, also a GLP-1 drug, by marketing them on the Internet, along with claims about their therapeutic benefits.