Retina Implant AG, a leading developer of subretinal implants for the visually impaired, today announced the presentation of findings obtained during their first human clinical trial in the form of two oral presentations at The Eye and the Chip 2010 Annual Meeting in Detroit, Mich. The first study presented by Professor Eberhart Zrenner, M.D., director and chairman of the Institute for Ophthalmic Research at the Center for Ophthalmology of the University of Tuebingen, Germany discusses clinical trial results with subretinal electronic implants regarding the ability of patients blind from retinitis pigmentosa (RP) to view objects and even letters to form words with freely moving eyes. The second, presented by Dr. Walter-G. Wrobel, CEO of Retina Implant AG is the first of its kind data providing the cost-benefit analysis of subretinal implants.
“The data presented today represents an important milestone in the fight to restore useful vision to individuals who are blind due to retinitis pigmentosa. The data speaks to the patient's ability to easily begin benefiting from the subretinal implant even with little to no training”
Dr. Zrenner's presentation titled, "Subretinal implants allow blind RP-patients to read letters and combine them to words at once without training" includes conclusions from the results of Retina Implant's first human clinical trial. During this clinical trial, which began in November 2005, 11 patients received 1500 pixel micro chips implanted below the retina. As reported in this study, the data obtained in the first clinical trial concluded that the 1500 electrode array micro chip freely moving with the eye, can restore useful vision and the ability to read letters and form words.
"The data presented today represents an important milestone in the fight to restore useful vision to individuals who are blind due to retinitis pigmentosa. The data speaks to the patient's ability to easily begin benefiting from the subretinal implant even with little to no training," said Professor Eberhart Zrenner, M.D., director and chairman, Institute for Ophthalmologic Research at University Eye Hospital Tuebingen, Germany. "As we continue on in our research we've recently begun our second human clinical trial in several sites across Europe where patients will receive the microchip permanently."
Dr. Walter-G. Wrobel, CEO of Retina Implant is presenting additional data from the first clinical trial which calculated the cost-benefit ratio associated with the subretinal implantation. While the cost-benefit ratio of other ophthalmologic conditions has been explored and studied in the past, researchers have yet to review this ratio for individuals with retinitis pigmentosa. The results of this first of its kind study found a significant cost-benefit based on the improvement in one's quality of life, which can be expected with the retinal implant used in this clinical trial.
"We're excited to be in Detroit presenting this first of its kind data exploring the cost-benefits associated with retinal implants," said Dr. Walter-G. Wrobel, president and CEO of Retina Implant AG. "The primary goal of our first clinical trial was to provide useful vision to patients, but this study shows that such devices could be a cost-effective treatment for people blinded by retinal degeneration. We look forward to carrying this momentum into our second clinical trial which began this spring."