Geographic atrophy is an advanced form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and a leading cause of vision loss for which there are no approved treatments. Genetic studies in AMD patients have implicated dys-regulation of the alternative complement pathway in the pathogenesis of geographic atrophy. Lampalizumab is a potential therapeutic that targets complement factor D, a pivotal activator of the alternative complement pathway. The MAHALO phase 2 clinical trial was a multicenter, randomized, controlled study that evaluated lampalizumab administered by intravitreal injection monthly (n = 42) and every other month (n = 41) versus sham control (n = 40) in patients with geographic atrophy secondary to AMD. The primary endpoint was the mean change in lesion area from baseline to month 18 as measured by fundus autofluorescence. Specific AMD-associated genetic polymorphisms were also analyzed. The MAHALO study met its primary efficacy endpoint with an acceptable safety profile; monthly lampalizumab treatment demonstrated a 20% reduction in lesion area progression versus sham control [80% confidence interval (CI), 4 to 37%]. A more substantial monthly treatment benefit of 44% reduction in geographic atrophy area progression versus sham control (95% CI, 15 to 73%) was observed in a subgroup of complement factor I (CFI) risk-allele carriers (57% of the patients analyzed were CFI risk-allele carriers). The MAHALO study shows a potential treatment effect in patients with geographic atrophy and supports therapeutic targeting of the alternative complement pathway for treating AMD pathogenesis.