The "molecular tweezer" CLR01 is a broad-spectrum inhibitor of abnormal protein self-assembly, which acts by binding selectively to Lys residues. CLR01 has been tested in several in vitro and in vivo models of amyloidosis, and has been shown to inhibit aggregation and toxicity of multiple amyloidogenic proteins, including amyloid beta protein and tau, by disrupting key interactions involved in the assembly process.Following up on these encouraging findings the inventors asked whether CLR01 could protect primary neurons from Alzheimer’s disease-associated synaptotoxicity and reduce Alzheimer’s disease–like pathology in vivo. Using cell culture and brain slices, it was shown that CLR01 effectively inhibited synaptotoxicity induced by the amyloid beta 42 peptide, including >80% inhibition of changes in dendritic spines density and long-term potentiation and complete inhibition of changes in basal synaptic activity. Using a radiolabelled version of the compound, it was revealed that CLR01 crossed the mouse blood–brain barrier at ~2% of blood levels. Treatment of 15-month-old triple-transgenic mice for 1 month with CLR01 resulted in a decrease in brain amyloid beta peptide aggregates, hyperphosphorylated tau and microglia load as observed by immunohistochemistry. Importantly, no signs of toxicity were observed in the treated mice, and CLR01 treatment did not affect the amyloidogenic processing of amyloid beta protein precursor (APP). Examining induction or inhibition of the cytochrome P450 metabolism system by CLR01 revealed minimal interaction. Together, these data suggest that CLR01 is safe for use at concentrations well above those showing efficacy in mice. The efficacy and toxicity results support a process-specific mechanism of action of molecular tweezers and suggest that these are promising compounds for developing disease-modifying therapy for Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders.