Early investigational drugs targeting tau protein for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease

Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2015;24(10):1355-60. doi: 10.1517/13543784.2015.1075002. Epub 2015 Aug 1.


Introduction: Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that is a significant burden to society. With continual expansion of our understanding of the disease, novel therapies are emerging as potential therapeutics to either halt or reverse progression of the disease.

Areas covered: This paper aims to provide an overview of current drug therapies aimed at targeting the tau protein. With this protein known to be a noted pathologic finding of the disease, trials of therapeutics aimed at this protein have been under investigation. This article is based on data obtained from PubMed searches, TauRx, ALZFORUM, and Clinicaltrials.gov with search terms including: anti-tau, tau therapeutic agents in AD, Phase 0, I, II, III trials in AD, monoclonal antibodies and vaccines.

Expert opinion: Broad-based treatments that target tau, including microtubule stabilization and tau aggregation inhibitors, appear to be of greatest promise. Immunotherapy appears to be relatively safe and efficacious but narrow whereas protein kinase inhibition has not demonstrated clinical benefit to date.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s; clinical trial; dementia; drug development; tau.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy*
  • Alzheimer Disease / physiopathology
  • Animals
  • Disease Progression
  • Drug Design
  • Drugs, Investigational / adverse effects
  • Drugs, Investigational / pharmacology
  • Drugs, Investigational / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Molecular Targeted Therapy
  • tau Proteins / metabolism*


  • Drugs, Investigational
  • tau Proteins