Abstract A recombinant human GM-CSF-EPO hybrid protein named MEN 11300 was administered biweekly for a total of 6 weeks to rhesus monkeys in order to evaluate its pharmacokinetic behaviour, tolerability and immunogenicity. In this primate species a strong antibody response was induced which neutralized the in vitro biological activity of human EPO while no antibody response could be detected against human GM-CSF. A severe drop in reticulocyte counts at approximately 2 weeks after initiation of treatment was followed by a dramatic decrease in the number of erythrocytes. No effects were observed on GM-CSF-dependent hematopoietic lineages and the clinical chemistry analyses did not reveal signs of general toxicity. Reticulocyte and erythrocyte counts started to recover 3–4 weeks after discontinuation of treatment in concert with a decline in anti-EPO antibody titres. Nevertheless, cell numbers remained below basal levels up to 50 days after the last MEN 11300 administration. Haematological impairment indicates that the administration to non-human primate of human EPO fused to human GM-CSF, induces neutralizing autoantibodies to the self EPO. Present data do not allow prediction of the immunogenic potential of the fusion protein in humans and a dose-escalating phase I study should be addressed to investigate the safety of the product.