Fact Sheet

Clinical Trial Information for Macular Degeneration

It can take many years for a potential treatment for macular degeneration to work its way from the laboratory, through rigorous testing and, finally, to become approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Learn more about the process and how clinical trials work.

How Clinical Trials Work

Clinical trials are used to determine the safety and effectiveness of the drug on progressively larger numbers of people. Researchers rely on volunteers to bring their research closer to their ultimate goal of providing the public with better options to manage their conditions. Typically there are three phases of clinical testing, each with a specific purpose in determining the safety of a treatment for use by the public. If the results are positive in the first two phases, the therapy will proceed to Phase III. The data gathering, analysis, and reporting that are necessary to complete these trials can take several years.

Participating in a Clinical Trial

Both those with macular degeneration and healthy individuals may consider participating in clinical trials. Each trial has its own protocol or set of guidelines, and volunteers must meet certain criteria to qualify for inclusion. Before making a decision, get as much information as possible about the trials and think seriously benefits and risks of volunteering. Those who participate are helping others with macular degeneration by taking these experimental treatments, and they may have access to medical care. However, there may be side effects, or the treatments may not be effective, and participation will require a time commitment.

Search for Clinical Trials

Antidote is a third-party application that allows you to search for clinical trials.  It is not affiliated with, or endorsed by, the BrightFocus Foundation or our website.  Please see our disclaimer related to third-party sites for more information.

The following resources contain information on clinical trials:

Antidote. Antidote helps you discover new treatment options being developed by medical researchers. They put technology to work so that by answering a few health questions, their smart search engine quickly and easily finds a trial that’s right for you.

CenterWatch Clinical Trials Listing Service. This service provides information about clinical research, including listings of active industry and government-sponsored clinical trials, research on new drug therapies, and drugs recently approved by the FDA.

Clinicaltrials.gov. An online registry and results database hosted by National Institutes of Health (NIH) that lists all publicly and privately supported clinical studies being conducted with human participants around the world. Follow prompts to look for active clinical trials located near you for a specific medical condition.

eyeGENE®.  Aims to advance studies of eye diseases and their genetic causes by giving researchers access to DNA samples, clinical information, and patients looking to participate in research studies and clinical trials.
(301) 435-3032

National Institutes of Health (NIH). Provides information on government-sponsored human trials and recruitment, with locations, purpose, eligibility requirements, and phone contacts.

They also provide information on health registries:
(301) 496-4000

ResearchMatch. This free and secure registry brings together people who are trying to find research studies, and researchers who are looking for people to participate in their studies.


This content was first posted on: April 15, 2016

The information provided is a public service of the BrightFocus Foundation and is not intended to constitute medical advice. It should not in any way substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare professional. Please consult your physician for personalized medical advice; all medications and supplements should only be taken under medical supervision. BrightFocus Foundation does not endorse any medical product or therapy.

More Like This

  • Fact Sheet

    Macular Degeneration: Frequently Asked Questions

    Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common eye disease that causes deterioration of the macula, the central area of the retina. Read the answers to the most frequently asked questions about this eye disease.

    March 1, 2016
  • Fact Sheet

    Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Facts & Figures

    Advanced age-related macular degeneration a leading cause of irreversible blindness and visual impairment in the world. As many as 11 million people in the United States have some form of age-related macular degeneration. Learn the facts about macular degeneration.

    January 5, 2016

Don't miss out.
Receive research updates, inspiring stories, and expert advice
Keep me informed about: *
Please select at least one.
You must select at least one disease category.
Please enter your first name.
Please enter your last name.