Here is a summary of the major news from the US stock market on Tuesday, February 27, 2023.

Apple Cancels Car Project After Decade Long, Shifting to Generative AI

Apple has reportedly cancelled its electric car project after more than a decade of development. According to a report by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple COO Jeff Williams and VP of car project Kevin Lynch announced the decision to employees on Tuesday. The news reportedly came as a surprise to the project's nearly 2,000 employees.

Gurman reports that many of the employees from the car project will be transferred to the company's machine learning and AI team, which is led by John Giannandrea. This is reportedly in line with Apple's increasing focus on generative AI. A few hundred hardware and automotive engineers will have the opportunity to apply for other positions within the company, and layoffs are also possible.

Apple has not commented on the report.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk, a potential competitor of Apple in the electric car market, reacted to the news with a "smoking" emoji on Twitter.

Apple's car project, codenamed Titan, was first launched in 2014 under the approval of then-CEO Tim Cook. Apple reportedly invested heavily in the project and poached talent from companies like Google, Mercedes-Benz, and Tesla. However, the project has been plagued by delays and leadership changes, and Apple has yet to announce a concrete plan for its electric car.

Viking Therapeutic Soars 121% Overnight Following Positive Weight Loss Drug Trial Results

Pre-market on Tuesday, Viking Therapeutics (VKTX.US) stock price skyrocketed by over 88%, after the company announced positive results from its Phase 2 trial of its weight loss drug VK2735. As of the close on February 27 local time, Viking Therapeutics closed at $85.05, up 121.02%, with a market capitalization of $8.547 billion.

The news also led to a decline in the share prices of weight loss drug giants Novo Nordisk (NVO.US) and Eli Lilly (LLY.US) by 1.04% and 0.66%, respectively.

Over the past 12 months, Viking Therapeutics has cumulatively increased 250%, while the S&P 500 index rose 27% during the same period.

According to public information, VK2735 is a GLP-1 receptor agonist. Viking is developing an injectable and oral weight loss drug for the treatment of obesity and diabetes. The trial met all primary and secondary endpoints, showing statistically significant weight reductions at all doses compared to placebo. Patients receiving the weekly dose of the drug lost 14.7% of their baseline weight after 13 weeks.

According to China Fund News, the company said in a statement: "Up to 88% of patients in the VK2735 treatment group lost 10% or more of their body weight, compared to only 4% in the placebo group." Viking Therapeutics plans to meet with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to discuss next steps.

According to China Securities Journal, industry insiders believe that the weight loss drug market is hot and has attracted many companies. Multi-target, oral administration, long-acting and reduced side effects are important research and development directions for GLP-1 drugs. The market expects that the scale of the weight loss drug market will reach 100 billion US dollars by 2030. More players will enter this market, and a variety of new weight loss drugs will also make the competition more intense. However, Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly are expected to continue to dominate this coveted market in the near future with their first-mover advantage.

Cover Image: Zhang Jian (NBD)

Editor: Alexander