Publications & Posters

The Role of the Complement Pathway in Clinical Progression of Geographic Atrophy: Analysis of the Phase III Chroma and Spectri Trials

Ophthalmology Science | March 25, 2023

Edmonds R, Steffen V, Honigberg LA, Chang MC. 

Ophthalmol Sci. 2023

This study was performed using Simoa Homebrew assay(s).



To investigate the relationship between complement pathway activities and progression of geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to age-related macular degeneration in samples collected from patients enrolled in the Chroma and Spectri trials.


Chroma and Spectri were phase III, double-masked, and sham-controlled, 96-week trials.


Aqueous humor (AH) samples collected at baseline and week 24 visits from 81 patients with bilateral GA across all 3 treatment groups (intravitreal lampalizumab 10 mg every 6 weeks, every 4 weeks, or corresponding sham procedures) were tested, along with patient-matched plasma samples collected at baseline.


Antibody capture assays using the Simoa platform were used to measure the levels of complement factor B, the Bb fragment of complement factor B, intact complement component 3 (C3), processed C3, intact complement C4, and processed C4. Complement factor D levels were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

Main Outcome Measures

Correlations of complement levels and activities (i.e., processed:intact ratio of complement component) in AH and plasma with baseline GA lesion size and growth rate.


In baseline AH, there were strong correlations (Spearman’s rho ≥ 0.80) between intact complement proteins, between processed complement proteins, and between linked processed and intact complement proteins; weak correlations (rho ≤ 0.24) were found between complement pathway activities. There were no strong correlations between complement protein levels and activities measured in AH and plasma at baseline (rho ≤ 0.37). Baseline complement levels and activities in AH and plasma did not correlate with baseline GA lesion size or change from baseline in GA lesion area at week 48 (i.e., annualized growth rate). There were no strong correlations between changes in complement levels/activities in the AH from baseline to week 24 and annualized GA lesion growth rate. Genotype analysis did not reveal a meaningful correlation between complement-related, age-related macular degeneration risk single-nucleotide polymorphisms and complement levels and activities.


Complement levels or activities in AH and plasma did not correlate with GA lesion size or growth rate. This suggests that local complement activation as measured in AH does not appear to be related to GA lesion progression.