SEATTLE, May 13, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Retina Implant AG, the leading developer of subretinal implants for patients blinded by retinitis pigmentosa (RP), today announced that the principal investigators met last week to discuss the results of the Company's second human clinical trial. Representatives from each clinical study site were in attendance, and the discussion was moderated by Professor Eberhart Zrenner, M.D., coordinating investigator and founding director of the Institute for Ophthalmologic Research at University Eye Hospital, Tuebingen, Germany and executives from Retina Implant AG. The meeting was timed with the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Annual Meeting in Seattle May 5 - 9, attracting leading eye specialists from around the globe.
During the meeting researchers from around the world including Germany, the UK, and Hong Kong discussed the results of their combined 36 patients who have received Retina Implant's Alpha IMS wireless subretinal implant, almost half of whom were implanted in the last 15 months. The meeting provided a venue for principal investigators to discuss key learnings from participating in the Company's clinical trial. The discussion focused primarily on performing the implantation procedure, and, together, the group agreed upon the best methods to further optimize the surgery to minimize complications and maximize positive visual results for patients.
"Primary investigator meetings are critical to the progression of our clinical trial and propel us closer to bringing Retina Implant's life-changing technology to an in-need patient population," said Professor Eberhart Zrenner, M.D., coordinating investigator and founding director of the Institute for Ophthalmologic Research at University Eye Hospital, Tuebingen, Germany. "Each researcher has contributed unique insights and perspective to performing the implantation procedure as well as working with the patients once they receive the microchip. By sharing this information with one another, we are ensuring implanted patients will continue to receive optimal care and the best likelihood for some restoration of visual acuity."
"We are thankful to be working with such a highly qualified group of skilled physicians. We are committed to working with this talented group of physicians as we move toward our goal of bringing the Alpha IMS implant to patients," said Walter-G. Wrobel, president and CEO, Retina Implant AG. "Last week's meeting was yet another excellent learning experience as we continue to build our knowledge surrounding the Alpha IMS implant."
In addition to hosting the primary investigator meeting, Professor Zrenner moderated a Poster Session titled "Retinal Prosthesis" on Sunday, May 5 at the ARVO meeting. Professor Florian Gekeler, consultant at the Centre for Ophthalmology of the University of Tuebingen, Germany presented the latest results regarding repositioning of the Alpha IMS implant to improve patients' visual results. Professor Zrenner additionally presented a survey of the field of retinal prosthetics at a symposium on restoration of vision highlighting advancements in ophthalmic research, including retinal implants, on Thursday, May 9.
Retinitis pigmentosa, a progressive condition that worsens over time, typically renders patients legally blind by age 40; 1.5 million people worldwide are affected. Retinal implants represent promise for enabling people with RP to regain functional sight. Retina Implant's subretinal microchip, the Alpha IMS, has been in clinical trials since 2005, and the results have been published in 2011 and 2013 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. Most recently, the journal published results from Retina Implant's second human clinical trial that found visual acuity for two patients surpassed the visual resolution of any patient from the Company's first human clinical trial.
About Retina Implant AG
Retina Implant AG is the leading developer of subretinal implants for patients blind due to retinitis pigmentosa. 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. In 2005, Retina Implant began implanting its Alpha IMS device in human patients and started a second clinical trial in 2010. To learn more, please visit: http://www.retinaimplant.de/.
SOURCE Retina Implant AG