Evaluation of Oral Minocycline in the Treatment of Geographic Atrophy Associated With Age-Related Macular Degeneration

    Not Recruiting
  • End date
    Dec 31, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    National Eye Institute (NEI)
Updated on 9 May 2022



Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the main reason older people lose their vision. It affects the macula, the center of the retina needed for sharp, clear vision. Researchers want to see if an antibiotic can help people with an advanced form of AMD, Geographic Atrophy (GA).


To see if minocycline is safe for people with GA and if it helps preserve their vision.


People age 55 and older who have GA in at least one eye.


Participants will be screened with physical exam, medical history, blood tests, and eye exam.

Participants will take minocycline. They will take 1 pill twice a day for at least 3 years.

Participants will have a minimum of 11 study visits. (But they are not every 3 months.). At each visit, participants will have a medical history. They may have:

Blood tests.

Eye exam. Vision, eye pressure, and eye movements will be checked. The pupils may be dilated. The inside of the eyes may be photographed.

Their thyroid gland felt while they swallow.

Microperimetry. They will sit in front of a computer and press a button when they see a light on the screen.

Fluorescein angiography. An intravenous line (IV) will be placed in an arm vein. A dye called fluorescein will be placed in the IV and travel through the veins to the blood vessels in the eyes. A camera will take pictures of the dye as it flows through the eye blood vessels.


Objective: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in people over age 65 in the United States, is a heterogeneous clinical entity in which retinal degeneration occurs predominantly in the macula in the context of aging and leads to impairment of central visual acuity (VA). AMD occurs in two general forms, one of which involves choroidal neovascularization (CNV) with subsequent formation of a disciform scar. This is often referred to as the neovascular or 'wet' form. A second form, the subject of this study, is termed 'dry' /atrophic macular degeneration or otherwise 'geographic atrophy' (GA) and involves a slow progressive atrophy of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells and photoreceptors in the macula, also resulting in central vision loss. GA is estimated to affect up to 1 million persons in the U.S. and there is no current treatment that can prevent its onset or retard its progression. While the etiology of GA is not completely understood, inflammatory processes involving the activation of resident immune cells of the retina called microglia is likely to contribute. Minocycline inhibits the activation of microglia which produce inflammatory factors implicated in GA development. The objective of this study is to investigate the safety and possible efficacy of oral minocycline in patients with GA.

Study Population: Forty-five participants with unilateral or bilateral GA associated with AMD will be enrolled. However, up to an additional 15 participants may be enrolled to replace participants who may withdraw from the study prior to reaching the Month 33 visit.

Design: This is a multi-center, prospective, single-arm, Phase II study to evaluate minocycline as a potential treatment to decrease the rate of worsening of GA associated with AMD. Participants will undergo a nine month run-in phase prior to receiving investigational product (IP). During this run-in phase, participants will have a total of four pre-treatment visits. Following the run-in phase, beginning at Month 9, participants will receive an oral dose of 100 mg of minocycline twice daily for 36 months. There will be a common termination date, which will take place when the last recruited participant has received 36 months of treatment. Participants who were recruited in the earlier part of the study will continue treatment and be followed every six months until the common termination date.

Outcome Measures: The primary outcome is the rate of change in area of GA based on grading by an external Reading Center of fundus autofluorescence (FAF) images in the assigned study eye. The primary outcome will compare the rates of GA area expansion as determined on FAF images before and following the initiation of IP until 24 months of treatment. Secondary outcomes will compare differences in rates of change in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), low-luminance VA, area of GA based on FAF (using a different statistical approach compared to primary outcome) and fundus photography, and macular sensitivity as measured using microperimetry between the run-in and treatment phases. Safety outcomes will include the number and severity of adverse events (AEs). Ocular safety outcomes will be indicated by changes in VA, ocular surface changes, intraocular inflammation and any other ocular changes not consistent with the natural progression of GA.

Condition age-related macular degeneration, Macular Degeneration, Macular Degeneration
Treatment Minocycline
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT02564978
SponsorNational Eye Institute (NEI)
Last Modified on9 May 2022

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