Viking Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VKTX) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 26, 2020 • 04:30 pm ET


Viking Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:VKTX) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good day, and welcome to the Viking Therapeutics Fourth Quarter 2019 and Year-End Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to turn the conference over to Stephanie Diaz, Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Stephanie C. Diaz

Hello, and thank you all for participating in today's call. Joining me today is Brian Lian, Viking's President and CEO; and Greg Zante, Senior Vice President of Finance.

Before we begin, I'd like to caution that comments made during this conference call today, February 26, 2020, will contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Securities Act of 1933 concerning the current beliefs of the Company, which involves a number of assumptions, risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ from these statements, and the Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update any statement made today. I encourage you to review all of the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission concerning these and other matters.

I'll now turn the call over to Brian Lian for his initial comments. Brian?

Brian Lian

Thanks, Stephanie, and thanks to everyone listening on the webcast or by phone. Today we'll provide an overview of our fourth quarter and year-end 2019 financial results as well as an update on recent progress and developments related to our pipeline programs and operations. 2019 was a year of tremendous progress at Viking, building on the momentum that follows the successful outcomes of our completed clinical studies.

With respect to our lead program VK2809, our novel thyroid receptor beta agonist, we completed the important work required to support a Phase 2b study in patients with biopsy-confirmed NASH. And we are pleased to announce in November, the initiation of this important study. With respect to VK0214, our second thyroid receptor beta agonist, our efforts during 2019 focused on continuing the IND enabling work required to commence clinical studies of this molecule and we expect to file an IND for this program in the first half of this year.

I will provide additional detail on our development activities in a few minutes. But first, we'd like to review our fourth quarter and year end financial results. For that, I'll turn the call over to Greg Zante, Viking's Senior Vice President of Finance. Greg?

Greg Zante

Thanks, Brian. In conjunction with my comments, I'd like to recommend that participants refer to Viking's Form 10-K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which we filed after the market close today for additional detail.

I'll first go over our financial results for the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2019. Our research and development expenses for the three-months ended December 31, 2019 were $6.5 million compared to $5.1 million for the same period in 2018. The increase was primarily due to increased expenses related to clinical studies with the initiation of the Phase 2b VOYAGE study during the quarter and manufacturing for our drug candidates, partially offset by decreased expenses related to our pre-clinical studies and services provided by third-party consultants. Our general and administrative expenses for the three months ended December 31, 2019