“The best outcome we could have hoped for” is how Dermira executives described phase IIb data with the atopic dermatitis project lebrikizumab this morning, and investors appeared to agree: shares almost doubled in early trade, putting the group's valuation at $570m. Results suggest that the company’s IL-13 antibody has similar efficacy to Sanofi/Regeneron’s blockbuster Dupixent, but with a more convenient dosing schedule. On some safety and tolerability measures, like rates of conjunctivitis, lebrikizumab looks better. All of this needs to be confirmed in a pivotal study, of course, and Dermira plans to start such a trial before the end of the year. Results could emerge in late 2021, by which time Dupixent is expected to be selling $3bn in atopic dermatitis, or severe eczema; for any chance of seriously competing with such a successful product Dermira needs subsequent trials to be equally impressive. In the phase III study of lebrikizumab the company hopes to show that patients can be moved from a two-weekly loading schedule to a maintenance phase of injections every four weeks. Lebrikizumab has a chance of emerging as “best in category”, executives maintain. Watch out Sanofi and Regeneron.