DOI: 10.1002/alz.076888 ISSN: 1552-5260

APNmAb005, an anti‐tau antibody targeting synaptic tau oligomers, in Phase 1 for treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease and primary tauopathies

Chin‐Yin Tai, Haou‐Tzong Ma, Chung‐Lin Li, Meng‐ Fang Wu, Silas Wang, Chia‐Lin Wu, Yen‐Ting Lai, Geidy E Serrano, Thomas G Beach, Richard A Margolin, Lili Zhang, Ming‐Kuei Jang, Bradford Navia
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Neurology (clinical)
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Health Policy
  • Epidemiology



Accumulation of tau oligomers at the synapses in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) disrupts neuronal activities and leads to neurodegeneration. Tau immunotherapy has been actively pursued as a treatment for tauopathies in the past decade. Despite several failed Phase 2 trials of N‐terminus binding antibodies a variety of tau epitopes are being investigated at different stages of clinical trials. APNmAb005 is a humanized monoclonal antibody designed to block synaptic toxicity elicited by tau oligomers.


APNmAb005 was selected as a clinical candidate from APRINOIA’s antibody discovery platform based on its unique binding properties to pathological tau in vitro immunoassays as well in vivo efficacy studies in rTg4510 mice. Humanized APNmAb005 is in IgG4 backbone and the production was scaled up successfully with good stability and solubility to support preclinical and clinical development. GLP safety study was conducted in cynomolgus monkeys. A Phase 1a randomized, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled study of APNmAb005 in healthy subjects is underway.


Epitope‐mapping study reveals that APNmAb005 binds to a conformation‐dependent epitope in the mid‐region, which results in a preferable recognition of pathological tau in early Braak stage (III‐IV) AD brains as well as tau aggregates in astrocytes and oligodendrocytes in brains from progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP) patients but not monomeric tau in normal brains. APNmAb005 blocks in vitro tau seeding at nanomolar concentrations and rescues neuronal loss in rTG4510 mice. Four‐week repeat dosing toxicology study shows no observed adverse effects.


APNmAb005 is a conformation selective antibody that binds to tau oligomers and aggregates preferentiually in synapses in pathological brain tissues and inhibits tau spreading. The mid‐region conformation dependent epitope is distinct from all other tau antibodies currently in clinical development. APNmAb005 offers a unique tau immunotherapy for neurodegenerative disorders and is currently in Phase 1 to evaluate its safety and tolerability.

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