REUTLINGEN, Germany, Sept. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Retina Implant AG, the leading developer of subretinal implants for patients blinded by retinitis pigmentosa (RP), announced that its scientific advisory board has been debriefed on the latest results in the Company's second human clinical trial. On September 23 Lead Investigator Eberhart Zrenner, M.D., professor of Ophthalmology and founding director of the Institute for Ophthalmic Research at the Centre for Ophthalmology of the University of Tubingen, presented to the advisory board results from Retina Implant's multi-center, human clinical trial with wireless subretinal implant Alpha IMS which is currently underway in Germany, the UK and China and has involved 18 patients to date.
"With consistent results and progress reported across the sites, the entire board is impressed with and confident in the implant's functionality," said Prof. Peter Gabel, professor of ophthalmology and director Emeritus at the University Eye Hospital in Regensburg, Germany and head of Retina Implant's advisory board. "It is clear that Retina Implant is facilitating the necessary coordination between the sites, helping to foster collaboration and positive results. We look forward to further updates as the global clinical trial progresses and expands into new locations."
In human clinical trials since 2005, Retina Implant's subretinal implant technology consists of a 3x3 mm2 microchip with 1,500 electrodes that is implanted below the retina in the macular region. Results from the Company's first human clinical trial were published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B in November 2010 and showed that patients involved in the study were able to recognize foreign objects and to recognize letters to form words with the Company's "bionic eye." The second human clinical trial, using Retina Implant's new, wireless device in patients' home environments as well as in the laboratory setting, began in Germany in May 2010 and has since expanded into two additional sites in Germany, two sites in the UK as well as one site in China.
"We are pleased with the board's support of the progress we are making on our journey to bring functional vision restoration to the 1.5 million people living with RP around the world," said Dr. Walter-G. Wrobel, president and CEO, Retina Implant AG. "Our success is a testament to the dedicated team of physicians and courageous patients involved in our clinical trial, and we thank them for making it possible to discover more each day about the use of subretinal implants to restore vision. We remain confident and excited in our subretinal approach and look forward to continuing our momentum as the clinical trial continues."
In addition to his presentation to Retina Implant's scientific advisory board, Professor Zrenner was honored recently when he was chosen as a keynote speaker at the annual conference for the Deutsche Ophthalmologische Gesellschaft (DOG), a leading German medical association for ophthalmology. In his presentation, "Subretinal Electronic Implants: Fields of Application and Results," Professor Zrenner provided the group with an overview of Retina Implant's microchip and the use of subretinal implants to restore useful vision to RP patients. Just weeks before, the International Society of Eye Research honoured him with the Ludwig von Sallmann Prize, named after the founding director of the National Eye Institute at National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Md. in the U.S.
About Retinitis Pigmentosa
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is one of the most common forms of inherited retinal degenerations affecting one in every 3,000-4,000 people in Europe. A progressive condition that gets worse over time, RP typically causes severe vision problems in adulthood. Retinal implants represent tremendous promise for enabling RP patients to regain sight.
About Retina Implant AG
Retina Implant AG is the leading developer of subretinal implants for partially sighted and blind patients. After extensive research with German university hospitals and institutes which began with a large grant from the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education in 1996, Retina Implant AG was founded by Dr. Eberhart Zrenner and his colleagues in 2003 with private investors with the goal of developing a fully-functioning electronic retinal implant to restore useful vision to the blind. Retina Implant began implanting in human patients in 2005 and started a second clinical trial in 2010. To learn more, visit: http://www.retinaimplant.de/.
SOURCE Retina Implant AG