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Northern Ireland Clinical Research Facility

  • Principal Investigator:  Professor Tunde Peto, Professor of Clinical Opthalmology at Queen's University Belfast.


  • Name of the Study: A multicentre natural history, non-interventional study evaluating biomarkers in participants with geographic atrophy (GA) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), (i-GAIN).

  • Short name: I-GAIN.


  • Why is this important and what is the Research aim?

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an important cause of visual impairment and blindness, which currently affects ~196 million people worldwide. AMD is a progressive disease which can have a devastating impact on vision as the disease advances to the late stages. There are two main types of late-stage AMD, dry (referred to as Geographic Atrophy (GA)) and wet. At present there is treatment available for wet AMD, however the late stage of dry AMD does not currently have any available treatment.

    AMD development and progression is largely genetically driven. The purpose of this non-interventional, observational study is to measure levels of a group of proteins in the blood called complement proteins which have been found to contribute to the development and progression of AMD. A new technique will be used to do this called Complement Precision Medicine (CPM) Platform. This is the first study using the full CPM Platform which will help deepen our understanding and provide information on complement activation in AMD and variations between individuals. In the future, the results of this study will be used to determine which patients are likely to respond to future treatments for AMD.


  • What the Study involves: 

    This involves three visits in total, once every 6 months over a 12-month period. These visits will involve taking a blood sample as well as photographs and scans of the back of the eyes at each visit.


  • Who can take part in the Study?

    This study is only open to those who have late-stage dry AMD.


  • Contact Information:

    Name: Dr Emma McConnell, Research Optometrist (Clinical Co-ordinator)


    - Name: Mrs Lucia Dalton Research Optometrist (Clinical Co-ordinator)

    - Email:

    - Phone: 07768 858583




NI Clinical Research Facility,
U Floor, Belfast City Hospital,
Lisburn Road, Belfast, BT9 7AB

Tel:+44 (0)28 9504 0342

Connect to the NICRF