Complement C3 activation contributes to COVID-19 pathology, and C3 targeting has emerged as a promising therapeutic strategy. We provide interim data from ITHACA, the first randomized trial evaluating a C3 inhibitor, AMY-101, in severe COVID-19 (PaO2/FiO2 ≤ 300 mmHg). Patients received AMY-101 (n = 16) or placebo (n = 15) in addition to standard of care. AMY-101 was safe and well tolerated. Compared to placebo (8 of 15, 53.3%), a higher, albeit nonsignificant, proportion of AMY-101-treated patients (13 of 16, 81.3%) were free of supplemental oxygen at day 14. Three nonresponders and two placebo-treated patients succumbed to disease-related complications. AMY-101 significantly reduced CRP and ferritin and restrained thrombin and NET generation. Complete and sustained C3 inhibition was observed in all responders. Residual C3 activity in the three nonresponders suggested the presence of a convertase-independent C3 activation pathway overriding the drug's inhibitory activity. These findings support the design of larger trials exploring the potential of C3-based inhibition in COVID-19 or other complement-mediated diseases.