An artificial cornea that completely integrates with the eye wall, with no reliance on donor tissue, has been successfully implanted in a human for the first time. The surgery was performed on a bilaterally blind, 78-year old male at Rabin Medical Centre, Israel, by Professor Irit Bahar, Director of the Ophthalmology Department. Upon removal of bandages, the artificial cornea, known as CorNeat KPro, immediately enabled the patient to read text and recognise family members.
The CorNeat KPro implant is designed to replace deformed, scarred or opacified corneas and is expected to fully and immediately rehabilitate the vision of corneally blind patients following a relatively simple implantation procedure. The developers hope it will become a first line treatment, displacing the use of donor tissue used in full thickness corneal transplantations.
Speaking of the first implant procedure, Professor Irit Bahar said, “The surgical procedure was straight forward and the result exceeded all of our expectations. The moment we took off the bandages was an emotional and significant moment. Moments like these are the fulfilment of our calling as doctors. We are proud of being at the forefront of this exciting and meaningful project, which will undoubtedly impact the lives of millions.”
The implantation is the first step in a multinational clinical trial geared toward attaining CE Mark, FDA Clearance and China NMPA approval. Trials will take place at Rabin Medical Centre in Israel and are anticipated to take place in Canada, France, the US, and the Netherlands. The initial ten patients involved in the trial are blind patients who are unsuited to, or have failed one or more, corneal transplantations.
Almog Aley-Raz, CorNeat Vision’s Co- Founder, Chief Executive Officer and VP Research and Development, said, “Given the exceptional visual performance of our device, the expected healing time and retention, and the fact that it cannot carry disease, we plan to initiate a second study later this year with broader indications to approve our artificial cornea as a first line treatment, displacing the use of donor tissue used in full thickness corneal transplantations.”
Find out more at www.corneat.com.