Population pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic analyses of amyloid positron emission tomography and plasma biomarkers for lecanemab in subjects with early Alzheimer's disease

CPT Pharmacometrics Syst Pharmacol. 2022 Dec;11(12):1578-1591. doi: 10.1002/psp4.12862. Epub 2022 Sep 27.


Lecanemab is a humanized immunoglobulin G1 monoclonal antibody that selectively binds to soluble Aβ aggregate species, while demonstrating low affinity for Aβ monomer. This article describes the population pharmacokinetic (PK) and PK/pharmacodynamic (PD) analyses for amyloid plaques, as measured using positron emission tomography (PET), and biomarkers of amyloid pathology as evidenced by Aβ42/40 ratio and plasma p-tau181 following i.v. administration of lecanemab in subjects with early Alzheimer's disease. Lecanemab PKs were well-characterized with a two-compartment model with first-order elimination. Final PK model contained covariate effects of anti-drug antibody positive status, sex, body weight, and albumin on clearance. The time course of amyloid PET standard uptake ratio (SUVr), plasma Aβ42/40 ratio, and p-tau181 were described using indirect response models with lecanemab exposure as a maximum effect function stimulating the reduction of SUVr, and as a linear function increasing Aβ42/40 ratio and decreasing p-tau181 formation rates. PK/PD simulations show that 10 mg/kg biweekly dosing results in larger and faster decrease in SUVr and p-tau181 and increase in Aβ42/40 ratio as compared to 10 mg/kg monthly dose. Furthermore, the PK/PD simulations showed that after treatment discontinuation the brain amyloid re-accumulation to baseline levels is slow with a recovery half-life of ~4 years, whereas plasma Aβ42/40 ratio and p-tau181 return to baseline levels faster than amyloid. Given the relationship between changes in amyloid PET SUVr and soluble biomarkers, the developed PK/PD models can be used to inform lecanemab dose regimens in future clinical studies.

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease* / diagnostic imaging
  • Alzheimer Disease* / drug therapy
  • Amyloid beta-Peptides* / metabolism
  • Biomarkers
  • Humans
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Positron-Emission Tomography / methods


  • Amyloid beta-Peptides
  • Peptide Fragments
  • lecanemab
  • Biomarkers