Background and objective: To evaluate the change in drusen volume following treatment with eculizumab, a systemic inhibitor of complement component 5.
Patients and methods: Single-center, prospective, randomized, double-masked clinical trial. Patients were randomized 2:1 to receive intravenous eculizumab or placebo over 26 weeks.
Main outcome measure: decrease in drusen volume of at least 50% at 26-week follow-up.
Results: Mean drusen cube root volumes were 0.49 mm and 0.47 mm (P = .64) at baseline and 0.51 mm and 0.42 mm (P = .17) at 26 weeks in the eculizumab and placebo groups, respectively. In the placebo group, one eye had a decrease in drusen volume of at least 50% and two eyes developed neovascularization through 26 weeks.
Conclusion: Systemic complement inhibition with eculizumab did not significantly reduce drusen volume. Drusen growth was dependent on the number of complement at-risk alleles. Future trials should consider the use of a composite clinical trial endpoint in which efficacy is defined by the treatment’s ability to prevent drusen growth, neovascularization, and the formation of geographic atrophy over 1 year.