Retina Implant AG, a leading developer of subretinal implants for the visually impaired, today announced that they will partner with the Wills Eye Institute in Philadelphia as the lead U.S. clinical trial investigator site. This partnership marks the first time Retina Implant's subretinal implant technology will be utilized in studies by patients who suffer from retinitis pigmentosa in North America.
"The results of the subretinal approach in Europe demonstrate the great potential this implant has to impact dramatically the quality of life for our patients here in the United States," said Dr. Julia A. Haller, ophthalmologist-in-chief, Wills Eye Institute. "Patients involved in previous clinical trials have achieved extraordinary success in their ability to regain useful vision. It is this life-changing success we hope to replicate with our own patients as Wills becomes the first institution in the U.S. to offer Retina Implant's technology."
Retina Implant's subretinal implant technology has been in clinical trials for more than six years in Germany and plans to expand its second human clinical trial into the U.K. this summer. The results of their first human clinical trial proved to be superior to any other company in the retinal implant industry. Moreover, results of Retina Implant's first human clinical trial were published in the prestigious peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B last November. The results showed placement of the implant below the retina, in the macular region, provided optimum visual results allowing patients to recognize foreign objects and to read letters to form words.
"We are honored to work with one of the foremost eye care centers in the world to bring our product to the United States," said Dr. Walter-G. Wrobel, president and CEO, Retina Implant AG. Reinhard Rubow, executive vice president and CFO, Retina Implant AG adds: "It is our hope that by offering patients in America with this technology that we, with the Wills Eye Institute, will be able to change the lives of those who are currently living in darkness."
Wills Eye Institute was established in 1832 as the nation's first eye care hospital and is recognized as a world-leader in the field of ophthalmology. Wills Eye has been ranked as one of the nation's top three ophthalmology centers by the annual U.S. News & World Report survey since its inception in 1990, and provides a full-range of primary and sub-specialty eye care. Wills Eye is the only center in North America that will conduct this evaluation of artificial vision.
"Wills Eye Institute has a strong tradition of innovation and discovery, providing people who suffer from eye disorders with cutting-edge technology that can assist them in living the best possible life," said Joseph P. Bilson, executive director, Wills Eye Institute. "We're excited to be working with Retina Implant and continue our tradition by bringing this technological advance to people in the United States who have lost their vision due to retinitis pigmentosa."