FDA Approves Hopkins-Developed Sight Restoring Eye Implant

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Dr. Gislin Dagnelie, right, tests the Argus II on blind subject Marion “Chick” Szczybor – Photo by Steve Ruark.

Courtesy Bmore Media – Blind patients in the U.S. who suffer from an inherited eye disease may soon get some of their vision restored with an eye implant invented by theWilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins in East Baltimore.

The US Food and Drug Administration this month approved the device for the U.S. market and Hopkins will begin implanting the device as soon as September. California firm Second Sight Medical Products Inc. manufactures the device and licensed two patents from Hopkins to develop and commercialize it.

“It’s the first baby steps in applying technology to blindness,” says Gislin Dagnelie, associate professor of ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Dagnelie is part of the original team that invented the device.

The Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System was approved in Europe two years ago and has helped more than 50 patients there.

It took 20 years of research, two series of trials and $200 million in funding to develop the Argus II. The device restores some vision to patients with late-stage retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease. But researchers say the technology holds promise for treating other kinds of blindness notably macular degeneration, the major cause of visual impairment in the aged.


Read more at Bmore Media.

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