REUTLINGEN, Germany, Nov. 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Retina Implant AG, the leading developer of subretinal implants for patients blinded by retinitis pigmentosa (RP), today announced it has achieved 10 years since the company formed and began working to help people impacted by RP. The journey began in 2003 when a group of scientists, led by Professor Eberhart Zrenner, founded Retina Implant AG to further explore the concept and hope that stimulation of the retina in late-stage retinitis pigmentosa patients could restore the gift of sight similarly to how cochlear implants restore the ability to hear. Much progress has been made in the 10 years since the founders began their quest including, most notably, the achievement of CE mark for Retina Implant's Alpha IMS subretinal implant. This important regulatory milestone clears the path for European commercial use of the Alpha IMS as a medical device designed to restore functional vision for people with late-stage RP.
"What a 10 years it has been. We are delighted to celebrate this remarkable anniversary as a company and reflect on how far we have come since our formation," said Walter-G Wrobel, Ph.D, CEO of Retina Implant AG. "What started as a hypothesis amongst several industry-leading ophthalmologists has since become a useful technology that provides patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa with the ability to regain a level of vision that was once thought to be only a dream. I want to thank principal investigators as well as the patients who participated in our clinical trials, for without them, our accomplishments throughout the past decade would not have been possible."
The 10 year anniversary coincides with the publication of a Perspective article in the prestigious, peer-reviewed journal, Science Translational Medicine, authored by Professor Eberhart Zrenner, M.D., lead clinical trial investigator of Retina Implant's clinical trials and a recognized pioneer in the ophthalmology field. The article, "Fighting Blindness with Microelectronics," looks at the clinical application of retinal implants, its achievements, limitations and perspectives as well as several other biological approaches, in the journey to restore visual function in people blinded by retinal diseases.
"We have learned a tremendous amount through the eight years of human clinical trials testing Retina Implant's microchip technology on nearly 40 people living in darkness due to retinitis pigmentosa," said Professor Eberhart Zrenner, M.D., founding director of the Institute for Ophthalmic Research in Tuebingen, Germany. "It is a real honor for my article to appear in Science Translational Medicine, a foremost authority on scientific innovation, especially at this terrific pinnacle in Retina Implant's history. It is so rewarding to see how far we have come in restoring useful vision over the last decade, and I look forward to continued progress in our next decade."
In its 10th year, Retina Implant AG achieved several key milestones. Data from its multi-center clinical trial across Europe were published in the renowned, peer-reviewed Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Sciences in February 2013; the data supported the successful CE mark approval of the Alpha IMS subretinal microchip in July 2013. Since the Company's clinical trials began at the University of Tuebingen in 2005, nearly 40 patients in Europe and Asia have received the Alpha IMS microchip, including the break-through-patient who was able to read letters and detect spelling errors in words, details of which were published in Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Sciencesin November 2010.
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, Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Tuebingen, together with 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. In July 2013, Retina Implant's wireless subretinal implant technology received CE mark for commercial use as a medical device in Europe. To learn more, visit: http://www.retina-implant.de/.
SOURCE Retina Implant AG