FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — To date, two patients in the U.K. blinded by retinitis pigmentosa have received a subretinal implant to restore visual function in the second multicenter human clinical trial to be conducted, according to officials from Retina Implant AG, maker of the implant.
“A total of 12 patients in the U.K. clinical trial and three more in Hong Kong will be given the subretinal implant,” Walter G. Wrobel, PhD, president and CEO of Retina Implant, told Ocular Surgery News here at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology meeting. One patient has been implanted in Hong Kong thus far.
“The U.K. implants represent a significant milestone in Retina Implant’s mission to restore vision to retinitis pigmentosa patients around the world,” Dr. Wrobel said in a press release from Retina Implant.
Watch the video of a patient's experience with the retina implant:
Tim Jackson, PhD, and Robert MacLaren, MD, performed both surgeries in the U.K.
“The visual results of these patients exceeded our expectations. This technology represents a genuinely exciting development and is an important step forward in our attempts to offer people with [retinitis pigmentosa] a better quality of life,” Drs. MacLaren and Jackson said in the release.
The implant consists of a 3 mm2 × 3 mm2 microchip with 1,500 electrodes implanted below the retina, according to company literature. It has been in clinical trials for more than 6 years.