Resource Center

Go back to Resource Center

Phase 2 Trial Evaluating Minocycline for Geographic Atrophy in Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Nonrandomized Controlled Trial


Journal Article

Keenan, T. D. L.; Bailey, C.; Abraham, M. ; Orndahl, C. ; Menezes, S.; Bellur, S.; Arunachalam, T.; Kangale-Whitney, C. ; Srinivas, S.; Karamat, A.; Nittala, M.; Cunningham, D.; Jeffrey, B. G.; Wiley, H. E.; Thavikulwat, A. T.; Sadda, S.; Cukras, C. A.; Chew, E. Y.; Wong, W. T.

JAMA Ophthalmol




oral minocycline geographic atrophy microglial inhibitor age-related macular degeneration

IMPORTANCE: Existing therapies to slow geographic atrophy (GA) enlargement in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) have relatively modest anatomic efficacy, require intravitreal administration, and increase the risk of neovascular AMD. Additional therapeutic approaches are desirable. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the safety and possible anatomic efficacy of oral minocycline, a microglial inhibitor, for the treatment of GA in AMD. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This was a phase 2, prospective, single-arm, 45-month, nonrandomized controlled trial conducted from December 2016 to April 2023. Patients with GA from AMD in 1 or both eyes were recruited from the National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, Maryland) and Bristol Eye Hospital (Bristol, UK). Study data were analyzed from September 2022 to May 2023. INTERVENTION: After a 9-month run-in phase, participants began oral minocycline, 100 mg, twice daily for 3 years. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcome measure was the difference in rate of change of square root GA area on fundus autofluorescence between the 24-month treatment phase and 9-month run-in phase. RESULTS: Of the 37 participants enrolled (mean [SD] age, 74.3 [7.6] years; 21 female [57%]), 36 initiated the treatment phase. Of these participants, 21 (58%) completed at least 33 months, whereas 15 discontinued treatment (8 by request, 6 for adverse events/illness, and 1 death). Mean (SE) square root GA enlargement rate in study eyes was 0.31 (0.03) mm per year during the run-in phase and 0.28 (0.02) mm per year during the treatment phase. The primary outcome measure of mean (SE) difference in enlargement rates between the 2 phases was -0.03 (0.03) mm per year (P = .39). Similarly, secondary outcome measures of GA enlargement rate showed no differences between the 2 phases. The secondary outcome measures of mean difference in rate of change between 2 phases were 0.2 letter score per month (95% CI, -0.4 to 0.9; P = .44) for visual acuity and 0.7 mum per month (-0.4 to 1.8; P = .20) for subfoveal retinal thickness. Of the 129 treatment-emergent adverse events among 32 participants, 49 (38%) were related to minocycline (with no severe or ocular events), including elevated thyrotropin level (15 participants) and skin hyperpigmentation/discoloration (8 participants). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this phase 2 nonrandomized controlled trial, oral minocycline was not associated with a decrease in GA enlargement over 24 months, compared with the run-in phase. This observation was consistent across primary and secondary outcome measures. Oral minocycline at this dose is likely not associated with slower rate of enlargement of GA in AMD.

Go back to Resource Center