Background Anti-IL-21R antibodies are potential therapeutics for the treatment of autoimmune diseases. This study evaluated correlations between the pharmacodynamic (PD) activity, pharmacokinetics, and anti-product antibody responses of human anti-IL-21R antibodies Ab-01 and Ab-02 following IV administration to cynomolgus monkeys. Methods The PD assay was based on the ability of recombinant human IL-21 (rhuIL-21) to induce expression of the IL-2RA gene in cynomolgus monkey whole blood samples ex vivo. Monkeys screened for responsiveness to rhuIL-21 stimulation using the PD assay, were given a single 10 mg/kg IV dosage of Ab-01, Ab-02, or a control antibody (3/group), and blood samples were evaluated for PD activity (inhibition of IL-2RA expression) for up to 148 days. Anti-IL-21R antibody concentrations and anti-product antibody responses were measured in serum using immunoassays and flow cytometry. Results Following IV administration of Ab-01 and Ab-02 to cynomolgus monkeys, PD activity was observed as early as 5 minutes (first time point sampled). This PD activity had good correlation with the serum concentrations and anti-product antibody responses throughout the study. The mean terminal half-life (t1/2) was ~10.6 and 2.3 days for Ab-01 and Ab-02, respectively. PD activity was lost at ~5-13 weeks for Ab-01 and at ~2 weeks for Ab-02, when serum concentrations were relatively low. The estimated minimum concentrations needed to maintain PD activity were ~4-6 nM for Ab-01 and ~2.5 nM for Ab-02, and were consistent with the respective KD values for binding to human IL-21R. For Ab-01, there was noticeable inter-animal variability in t1/2 values (~6-14 days) and the resulting PD profiles, which correlated with the onset of anti-product antibody formation. While all three Ab-01-dosed animals were positive for anti-Ab-01 antibodies, only one monkey (with the shortest t1/2 and the earliest loss of PD activity) had evidence of neutralizing anti-Ab-01 antibodies. All three Ab-02-dosed monkeys developed neutralizing anti-Ab-02 antibodies. Conclusions For anti-IL-21R antibodies Ab-01 and Ab-02, there was good correlation between PD activity and PK profiles following IV administration to cynomolgus monkeys. Compared with Ab-01, Ab-02 was eliminated markedly faster from the circulation, which correlated with a shorter duration of PD activity.