Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a multifactorial disease and a prevalent cause of visual impairment in developed countries. Risk factors include environmental components and genetic determinants. The complement factor H (CFH) has been the first major susceptibility gene for AMD identified within 1q32. Here, we focused on a second region of interest in 10q26 where a recent meta-analysis revealed strongest evidence for linkage to AMD at a genome-wide significance level. Within an interval of 22 Mb, we have analyzed 93 single nucleotide polymorphisms for allelic association with AMD in two independent case-control cohorts of German origin (AMD(combined) n=1166; controls(combined) n=945). Significant association was found across a 60 kb region of high linkage disequilibrium harboring two genes PLEKHA1 and hypothetical LOC387715. The strongest association (P=10(-34)) centered over a frequent coding polymorphism, Ala69Ser, at LOC387715, strongly implicating this gene in the pathogenesis of AMD. Besides abundant expression in placenta, we demonstrate weak expression of LOC387715 in the human retina. At present, however, there is no functional information on this gene, which appears to have evolved recently within the primate lineage. The joint contribution of the common risk allele at LOC387715, Ala69Ser, and at CFH, Tyr402His, was assessed in our case-control population, which suggests an additive model indicating an independent contribution of the two gene loci to disease risk. Our data show a disease odds ratio of 57.6 (95% CI: 37.2, 89.0) conferred by homozygosity for risk alleles at both CFH and LOC387715 when compared with the baseline non-risk genotype.