First Results from Retinal Implant Clinical Trial Presented by Pitt Ophthalmology Expert

PITTSBURGH – Promising first results from the clinical feasibility trial of PRIMA, a wireless retinal implant designed to help restore useful vision in patients with advanced atrophic dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), were presented last week at the American Academy of Ophthalmology 2018 annual meeting held in Chicago. The presentation was acknowledged as the “Best Paper” of Retina Session II at the meeting.

“We are pleased with the results from the PRIMA trial showing the chip can be safely implanted in patients without affecting their existing vision. Furthermore, patients experienced positive improvements in their ability to correctly detect visual patterns, and we expect these improvements to continue as they progress in their rehabilitation program,” said Sahel.

The UPMC feasibility trial of PRIMA currently is enrolling patients. It is the first and only site in the United States where this technology will be evaluated. Five patients will enroll in the study, which will be similar to the French feasibility trial.

AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in people older than 50 and affects approximately 14 million people in the United States. The aging baby boomer population is expected to lead to a significant increase in the prevalence of AMD, which is characterized by a progressive loss of vision, and an increasingly larger blurred area near the center of vision. “Dry&”AMD, which accounts for 80 to 90 percent of cases, has no curative treatment available.

The current clinical trial, led by Sahel in Paris, France is evaluating the safety and feasibility of the PRIMA bionic vision system, developed by Paris-based Pixium Vision in partnership with Stanford University and the Institut de la Vision in Paris. The PRIMA system consists of a miniature wireless photovoltaic chip implanted beneath the retina of patients with advanced atrophic dry AMD, along with special augmented reality glasses worn by the patient that contain a miniature camera and projector.

The chip …

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