m
Recent Posts
Connect with:
Monday / May 20.
HomeminewsFDA Approves Argus ‘Bionic Eye’ Retinal Implant

FDA Approves Argus ‘Bionic Eye’ Retinal Implant

The Argus II retinal prosthesis system has been approved for use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Argus II ‘bionic eye’ restores some visual capabilities for patients whose blindness is caused by Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), an inherited retinal degenerative disease that in Australia is believed to affect approximately one in every 3,000 children born.

It was approved for use in Europe in 2011 where it has been implanted in 30 patients in a clinical trial that began in 2007.

Professor Mark Humayun, who holds joint appointments at the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California (USC) and the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, was a key member of the team that developed the device.

This is a game changer in sight-affecting diseases, that represents a huge step forward for the field and for these patients who were without any available treatment options until now…

“It is incredibly exciting to have FDA approval to begin implanting the Argus II and provide some restoration of vision to patients blinded from RP,” said Professor Humayun. “In the patients that have been implanted to date, the improvement in the quality of life has been invaluable.

“The fact that many patients can use the Argus implant in their activities of daily living, such as recognising large letters, locating the position of objects and more, has been beyond our wildest dreams,” he added, “yet the promise to the patients is real, and we expect it only to improve over time.”

Robert Greenberg, MD, PhD, President and CEO of Second Sight, the commercial enterprise behind the development of Argus II said it was the only FDA-approved long-term therapy for people suffering from advanced RP.

“With this approval, we look forward to building a strong surgical network in the United States and recruiting new hospitals that will offer the Argus II retinal implant. This is a game changer in sight-affecting diseases, that represents a huge step forward for the field and for these patients who were without any available treatment options until now.”

The Argus II system uses a camera mounted on special glasses that sends a signal to an electronic receiver with 60 electrodes implanted inside the eye.

The receiver sends signals to the retina that travel through the optic nerve to the brain, where they can be interpreted as a visual picture. The researchers hope one day the device can be improved to also help individuals with age-related macular degeneration.