A patient with the blinding condition retinitis pigmentosa has reported that he could differentiate between light and dark for the first time in five years following the successful implant and activation of the IRIS II® bionic vision system, at Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in London.
The patient is the first in the UK to receive the IRIS II® bionic vision system, which uses a bio-inspired camera to stimulate a retinal implant and send image signals to the brain. The innovative system allows patients who have lost their sight to regain partial visual perception and lead more independent lives.
The implant was successfully performed in September 2016, by Mr Mahi Muqit, Moorfields Private Consultant Ophthalmologist and Vitreoretinal Surgeon. The surgery was undertaken as part of a new clinical trial for NHS patients based in the UK.
Mr Muqit interviewed by the Evening Standard said: “This first implant was successfully completed for a 73 year old retinitis pigmentosa patient. The patient’s system was activated and reported first perception of light. The patient will now learn how to interpret light signals as his new form of bionic vision.”
Khalid Ishaque, chief executive of Pixium, said: “The first implant in UK at the prestigious Moorfields Eye Hospital is part of the company’s strategy to continue to expand its presence across centres of excellence in Europe. Pixium Vision is dedicated to conceive, develop and bring meaningful bionic vision innovations to surgeons, enabling them to treat patients who have lost sight to retinal dystrophies.”
In parallel, Pixium continues to progress on its second system, PRIMA, a wireless sub-retinal implant, with a less invasive design particularly suitable for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Completion of initial preclinical studies enabled submission for a feasibility study for AMD. Regulatory approval for the first human implantation is expected by the end of 2016.