A randomized, double-blind, phase 2b proof-of-concept clinical trial in early Alzheimer's disease with lecanemab, an anti-Aβ protofibril antibody

Alzheimers Res Ther. 2021 Apr 17;13(1):80. doi: 10.1186/s13195-021-00813-8.


Background: Lecanemab (BAN2401), an IgG1 monoclonal antibody, preferentially targets soluble aggregated amyloid beta (Aβ), with activity across oligomers, protofibrils, and insoluble fibrils. BAN2401-G000-201, a randomized double-blind clinical trial, utilized a Bayesian design with response-adaptive randomization to assess 3 doses across 2 regimens of lecanemab versus placebo in early Alzheimer's disease, mild cognitive impairment due to Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild AD dementia.

Methods: BAN2401-G000-201 aimed to establish the effective dose 90% (ED90), defined as the simplest dose that achieves ≥90% of the maximum treatment effect. The primary endpoint was Bayesian analysis of 12-month clinical change on the Alzheimer's Disease Composite Score (ADCOMS) for the ED90 dose, which required an 80% probability of ≥25% clinical reduction in decline versus placebo. Key secondary endpoints included 18-month Bayesian and frequentist analyses of brain amyloid reduction using positron emission tomography; clinical decline on ADCOMS, Clinical Dementia Rating-Sum-of-Boxes (CDR-SB), and Alzheimer's Disease Assessment Scale-Cognitive Subscale (ADAS-Cog14); changes in CSF core biomarkers; and total hippocampal volume (HV) using volumetric magnetic resonance imaging.

Results: A total of 854 randomized subjects were treated (lecanemab, 609; placebo, 245). At 12 months, the 10-mg/kg biweekly ED90 dose showed a 64% probability to be better than placebo by 25% on ADCOMS, which missed the 80% threshold for the primary outcome. At 18 months, 10-mg/kg biweekly lecanemab reduced brain amyloid (-0.306 SUVr units) while showing a drug-placebo difference in favor of active treatment by 27% and 30% on ADCOMS, 56% and 47% on ADAS-Cog14, and 33% and 26% on CDR-SB versus placebo according to Bayesian and frequentist analyses, respectively. CSF biomarkers were supportive of a treatment effect. Lecanemab was well-tolerated with 9.9% incidence of amyloid-related imaging abnormalities-edema/effusion at 10 mg/kg biweekly.

Conclusions: BAN2401-G000-201 did not meet the 12-month primary endpoint. However, prespecified 18-month Bayesian and frequentist analyses demonstrated reduction in brain amyloid accompanied by a consistent reduction of clinical decline across several clinical and biomarker endpoints. A phase 3 study (Clarity AD) in early Alzheimer's disease is underway.

Trial registration: Clinical Trials.gov NCT01767311 .

Keywords: ADCOMS; Alzheimer’s disease; Amyloid; Amyloid PET; BAN2401; Biomarker; Clinical trial; Lecanemab; Neurofilament light; Neurogranin; p-tau.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase II
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / complications
  • Alzheimer Disease* / diagnostic imaging
  • Alzheimer Disease* / drug therapy
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides*
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Brain
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Humans


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01767311