MILAN, Italy, Sept. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Retina Implant AG, the leading developer of subretinal implants for patients blinded by retinitis pigmentosa (RP), today announced that results from the Company's second human clinical trial will be presented at the 12th EURETINA Congress, in Milan, 6-9 September. On Friday, 7 September at 16:45 CEST Professor Eberhart Zrenner, director and chairman of the Institute for Ophthalmic Research at the Centre for Ophthalmology of the University of Tuebingen, Germany and lead clinical trial investigator for Retina Implant AG, will present preliminary data obtained to-date from the Company's second human multi-centre clinical trial taking place in Germany, the UK and Hong Kong.
"We are encouraged by the results achieved in our second human clinical trial thus far as they represent an impactful advance in Retina Implant's technology that could greatly enhance the quality of life for people with retinitis pigmentosa, an incurable, blinding disease," said Professor Eberhart Zrenner, founding director of the Institute for Ophthalmic Research in Tuebingen, Germany. "We look forward to sharing our team's discoveries about the use of subretinal implants in retinitis pigmentosa patients with the ophthalmic community at this important industry conference."
Retina Implant's subretinal implant technology has been in clinical trials since 2005 and consists of a 3x3 mm2 microchip with 1,500 electrodes implanted below the retina, specifically in the macular region. Results from the Company's first human clinical trial published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B in 2010 showed that placement of the implant below the retina provided optimum visual results, allowing patients to recognize foreign objects and to recognize letters to form words. The Company's second human clinical trial began in Germany in May 2010 and recently expanded into sites outside of Germany. Unlike the first trial, patients involved in the second clinical trial are implanted with a wireless device designed to remain in the eye permanently. Patients' visual experiences are recorded in both the laboratory and home settings.
"The feedback we received from our presentations at the recent Retina International conference was overwhelmingly positive. With 29 patients implanted with our subretinal microchip to-date, we have come a long way since our journey began to restore useful vision to patients affected by retinitis pigmentosa," said Walter-G. Wrobel, Ph.D, CEO of Retina Implant AG. "We look forward to continuing the momentum we've achieved in the clinical trials thus far and to making this technology commercially available so that more patients can regain vision after decades of darkness."
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.
Congress attendees interested in learning more about Retina Implant's ground-breaking technology, please visit the Company's booth #P393.
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: www.retinaimplant.de.
About Professor Eberhart Zrenner
Dr. Zrenner is a Professor of Ophthalmology and Founding Director of the Institute for Ophthalmic Research at the Centre for Ophthalmology of the University of Tuebingen, Germany. His research interests include: retinal physiology and pathophysiology, neuroophthalmology, retina implants, electrophysiology and other methods of non-invasive function testing, neurodegeneration and ophthalmogenetics.
Dr. Zrenner studied electronic engineering as well as medicine at the Technical University of Munich, where he obtained his MD degree in 1972. Subsequently he worked within the Max-Planck-Society for 16 years and received a Fogarty fellowship at the National Eye Institute, Bethesda, Md. (1977 and 1978), studying temporal, spatial and chromatic characteristics of retinal ganglion cells via extracellular recordings in monkey retina. After acquiring a Privatdozent (PD) degree he received an associated professorship at the University Eye Hospital in Munich. He became full professor and Medical Director of the University Eye Hospital in Tuebingen in 1989, now Centre for Ophthalmology, where he founded the Institute for Ophthalmic Research in 2007; he also served twice as Dean of the Medical Faculty of Tuebingen and also as Visiting Professor at the State University of New York, N.Y. Recently he received two honorary Doctoral Degrees and the Ludwig von Sallmann Award, named after the Founding Director of the National Eye Institute in Bethesda, Md.
SOURCE Retina Implant AG