HAMBURG, Germany, July 10, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Okuvision GmbH, an innovator in the field of transcorneal electrical stimulation (TES) for early and intermediate stage retinitis pigmentosa (RP) patients, today announced that data on the company's CE-marked OkuStim™ treatment will be presented at the Retina International World Congress, a biannual meeting that provides a forum for patients and researchers to learn of the latest news and research about retinal diseases from around the world. This year's congress will take place in Hamburg, Germany from July 14 - 15, 2012 and will attract a diverse audience of 500 attendees. Prof. Dr. Florian Gekeler, consultant at the Centre for Ophthalmology of the University of Tubingen, will present the latest findings on TES to treat RP to patients on Saturday, July 14 and to his peers on Sunday, July 15.
Receiving CE mark approval in 2011, OkuStim is designed to promote cell regeneration in photoreceptors and delay progressive sight loss in RP patients by stimulating the eye with TES, also known as electrical stimulation therapy (EST). The device works by sending small amounts of electrical current to stimulate the retina and consists of a frame worn around the patient's head, a hand-held stimulation controller and a battery pack. Patients can self-administer OkuStim at home or receive treatment in the doctor's office. During treatment, patients may feel a slight sensation, but no discomfort or pain is involved in the treatment.
"Exciting advances in the field of medicine are changing the way doctors address retinal conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa. The congress offers a targeted forum for physicians and patients alike to discuss the most current technologies and treatments for a variety of retinal issues," said Prof. Dr. Florian Gekeler, Centre for Ophthalmology of the University of Tubingen. "I am looking forward to sharing my promising research on the use of transcorneal electrical stimulation to slow the progression of RP-related blindness."
Research has shown that electrically stimulating the retina can help preserve dying retinal cells and promote cell regeneration in photoreceptors, delaying progressive sight loss in RP patients. The results of Okuvision's pilot study were published in April 2011 in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science and demonstrated that patients receiving stimulation showed a statistically significant improvement in their field of vision.
To further the body of scientific knowledge on TES and OkuStim, Okuvision is launching additional, post-market research studies on the technology. Taking place in Tubingen, Germany, a study called EST2 will test various levels of stimulation with OkuStim over a one-year period. EST2 is approaching full patient accrual; however, individuals interested in the trial may enroll through July 31, 2012. A second, multi-center study, TESOLA, is also scheduled to begin in 2012, pending regulatory approval in Germany, UK and Hong Kong. TESOLA is already approved to begin in Norway and Denmark in the fall of 2012.
"We are pleased to participate in this year's Retina International World Congress, providing an opportunity for more patients and physicians from around the world to learn about the benefits OkuStim therapy can provide to slow the progression of RP," said Reinhard Rubow, chief executive officer, Okuvision GmbH. "With plans to launch two post-market studies on OkuStim therapy this year, there is great momentum surrounding the use of transcorneal electrical stimulation therapy for RP patients, making it a perfect time to raise awareness of OkuStim at this important venue."
Congress attendees can learn more about OkuStim therapy at the Okuvision booth or at the sessions for patients. More information on Professor Gekeler's presentations can be found on the Retina International World Congress website at: http://www.retina-international-2012.de/english/program/program.html.
About Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is one of the most common forms of inherited retinal degenerations affecting 1 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 Okuvision GmbH
Founded by the leaders of Retina Implant AG in 2007, Okuvision GmbH is an innovator in the field of transcorneal electrical stimulation (TES) for patients with early and intermediate stage retinitis pigmentosa. Building on the lessons learned through the use of Retina Implant AG's subretinal implant technology, Okuvision was founded with the goal of testing and developing a treatment option aimed at delaying the effects of retinitis pigmentosa. Okuvision's first study began in 2007 and treated 24 patients over a period of six weeks. To learn more, please visit: www.okuvision.de.
SOURCE Retina Implant AG