Can Lilly JAK Olumiant, plagued by side effects, really challenge Dupixent in dermatitis?

Eli Lilly and Incytes Olumiant has run up against safety hurdles in the past. But can those hurdles stop the drugmakers from adding another feather to the drugs cap, this time in the booming and increasingly competitive atopic dermatitis AD market? Adding Olumiant to standard-of-care corticosteroids significantly cleared AD trial patients skin over placebo at 16 weeks. Those were the findings from the drugs phase 3 trial Breeze-Ad7, the third of five placebo-controlled trials for Olumiant in AD, Lilly said in a release. Lilly said it plans to release top-line data from the remaining two phase 3 trials in late 2019 and early 2020. Strong performances could set up Olumiant as a potential late entry into a field dominated by Regeneron and Sanofi’s Dupixent, the first-to-market med. But that doesn't mean Olumiant could seriously challenge the reigning star. SVB Leerink analyst Geoffrey Porges pointed to Dupixent's higher response rates—as well as a pulmonary embolism reported in the Olumiant arm. "We believe that we now know enough about the current generation of JAK inhibitors to more or less dismiss them as threats to Dupi in benign dermatological and atopic indications," he wrote.

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