Complement inhibitors for age-related macular degeneration

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Background: Given the relatively high prevalence of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and the increased incidence of AMD as populations age, the results of trials of novel treatments are awaited with much anticipation. The complement cascade describes a series of proteolytic reactions occurring throughout the body that generate proteins with a variety of roles including the initiation and promotion of immune reactions against foreign materials or micro-organisms. The complement cascade is normally tightly regulated, but much evidence implicates complement overactivity in AMD and so it is a logical therapeutic target in the treatment of AMD. Objectives: To assess the effects and safety of complement inhibitors in the prevention or treatment of advanced AMD. Search methods: We searched CENTRAL (which contains the Cochrane Eyes and Vision Group Trials Register) (The Cochrane Library 2013, Issue 11), Ovid MEDLINE, Ovid MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, Ovid MEDLINE Daily, Ovid OLDMEDLINE (January 1946 to November 2013), EMBASE (January 1980 to November 2013), Allied and Complementary Medicine Database (AMED) (January 1985 to November 2013), Latin American and Caribbean Literature on Health Sciences (LILACS) (January 1982 to November 2013), OpenGrey (System for Information on Grey Literature in Europe) (, Web of Science Conference Proceedings Citation Index - Science (CPCI-S) (January 1990 to November 2013), the metaRegister of Controlled Trials (mRCT) (, ( and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) ( We did not use any date or language restrictions in the electronic searches for trials. We last searched the electronic databases on 21 November 2013. We also performed handsearching of proceedings, from 2012 onwards, of meetings and conferences of specific professional organisations. Selection criteria: We planned to include randomised controlled trials (RCTs) with parallel treatment groups which investigated either the prevention or treatment of advanced AMD by inhibition of the complement cascade. Data collection and analysis: Two authors (MW and GMcK) independently evaluated all the titles and abstracts resulting from the searches. We contacted companies running clinical trials which had not yet reported results to request information. Since no trials met our inclusion criteria, we undertook no assessment of quality or meta-analysis. Main results: We identified and screened 317 references but there were no published RCTs that met the inclusion criteria. We identified two ongoing studies: one phase I study and one phase II study. Authors' conclusions: There is insufficient information at present to generate evidence-based recommendations on the potential safety and efficacy of complement inhibitors for prevention or treatment of AMD. However we anticipate the results of ongoing trials.




Williams, M. A., Mckay, G. J., & Chakravarthy, U. (2014, January 15). Complement inhibitors for age-related macular degeneration. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

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