Yep - no one should expect an M&A here till they have phII data plus an EoP2 meeting with FDA.
Our guess - after reading the tea leaves - was the pop was triggered by short covering (booking profits in 2015 and getting out of the way prior to the JPM pro-biotech season), compounded by day traders following the technicals. Of course, an alternative is block owners and/or MM working to develop a tradible technical base in prep for the inevitable secondary.
While the Dec data on $VKTX is obviously a positive (though in line with expectations) and the no news pop showed signs of life, I've continue to sit on my hands re $VKTX for anything more than a day trade. Mostly out of expectations of wash out year end tax loss harvesting, the $LGND overhang and plausible technical retest of the historic lows. Plus a quick review of their balance sheet (current assets of ~$18 mil at start of Nov) and plans suggested need for a very dilutive secondary offerings soon. Perhaps even more than the Thanksgiving S-1 amount? My guess? Could go effective as soon as within the next 2 to 4 weeks around JPM.
And it will be an interesting tell who manages this offering (not listed on cover). While I've no direct insight, my guess is a make up PIPE deal with Roth. With sizable warrant coverage? Till then?