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Leading Researchers in Vision Impairment and Blindness to Present at EURETINA Winter Meeting

ROME, Feb. 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Retina Implant AG, the leading developer of subretinal implants for patients blinded by retinitis pigmentosa (RP), and Okuvision GmbH, an innovator in the field of transcorneal electrical stimulation (TES) therapy for early and intermediate stage RP patients, today announced that research on both companies' devices will be presented at the EURETINA Winter Meeting in Rome, Italy, February 1-3. Sister companies, Retina Implant and Okuvision have developed breakthrough medical devices that aim to provide in-need RP patients with new tools to combat total blindness or the onset of blindness. Research and findings will be presented by global experts in the field of ophthalmology, including: Katarina Stingl , M.D., clinical scientist and consultant ophthalmologist, Institute for Ophthalmic Research at the Centre for Ophthalmology of the University of Tuebingen, Germany; Andreas Schatz , M.D., resident and fellow at the University Eye Hospital and Institute for Ophthalmic Research at the Centre for Ophthalmology, University of Tuebingen, Germany; and Professor Robert MacLaren , professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Oxford and a consultant retinal surgeon at the Oxford Eye Hospital, UK.


"We are thrilled to have our innovative technology presented to leading retinal specialists in Europe – we are confident our scientific research and clinical trial data will be of great interest to attendees and will expand the body of knowledge on retinal implants and visual results," said Walter-G. Wrobel , president and CEO of Retina Implant AG. "Last year Retina Implant researchers gained more experience working with implanted patients through the second human clinical trial, with the global total of implanted patients reaching 35. Importantly, we continue to learn more about how to best operate on and place the microchip in patients, and we are encouraged by the positive visual results some patients have reported, including the ability to read numbers on the side of dice."

Sessions on Retina Implant's Alpha IMS microchip and about Okuvision's TES are as follows:

  • Katarina Stingl , M.D. will speak in the Artificial Vision and Electrical Stimulation of the Eye session about Retina Implant's Alpha IMS microchip's clinical results on February 1, 16:00-18:00 CET.
  • Andreas Schatz , M.D. will also speak in the session on Artificial Vision and Electrical Stimulation of the Eye about transcorneal electrical stimulation (TES) and phosphene thresholds in healthy subjects and patients with retinal diseases on February 1, 16:00-18:00 CET.
  • Professor Robert MacLaren will present on restoring vision through Retina Implant's subretinal implant and the relevance to future stem cell therapies during the Regeneration/Degeneration session on Saturday, February 2, 8:30-10:30 CET.
  • Retina Implant's 3x3mm2, 1,500 electrode, subretinal implant has been in clinical trials since 2005. The microchip is designed to restore useful vision in patients blinded by RP and is implanted below the retina in the macular region. Published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B in 2010, results from the Company's first human clinical trial showed that placement of the implant below the retina provided optimum visual results, allowing patients to recognize foreign objects, as well as recognize letters to form words. Beginning in May 2010, the Company's second human clinical trial is currently underway in Germany, the UK and Hong Kong.

    Sister company Okuvision GmbH's OkuStim® technology received CE mark approval in 2011 for use as a treatment to help delay the progression of RP. The device consists of a frame worn on the patient's head and a hand-held stimulation controller that works by sending small amounts of current to stimulate the retina. Results of Okuvision's pilot study were published in April 2011 in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science  and showed that patients receiving 150 percent stimulation showed a 20 percent statistically significant improvement in their field of vision. The Company recently launched two additional, post-market studies in Germany and other European countries to continue research on the OkuStim device.

    "Last year was a pivotal time for Okuvision, with the launch of two post-market studies on our OkuStim device and the beginning of patient enrolment throughout the EU and UK," said Reinhard Rubow , CEO, Okuvision GmbH. "With more information expected in the coming year on the ideal level of transcorneal electrical stimulation for patients with RP and its long-term effects, leaders in vision impairment are becoming increasingly eager to learn more about the potential benefits of the new therapy for earlier stage RP patients."

    For more information on the Retina Implant and Okuvision presentations at EURETINA's Winter Meeting in Rome, please visit the conference Website.

    About Retinitis Pigmentosa
    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is one of the most common forms of inherited retinal degenerations affecting 1 in every 3,000-4,000 people in Europe. A progressive condition that gets worse over time, RP typically causes severe vision problems in adulthood. Retinal implants represent tremendous promise for enabling RP patients to regain sight.

    About Retina Implant AG
    Retina Implant AG is the leading developer of subretinal implants for partially sighted and blind patients. After extensive research with German university hospitals and institutes which began with a large grant from the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education in 1996, Retina Implant AG was founded by Dr. Eberhart Zrenner and his colleagues in 2003 with private investors with the goal of developing a fully-functioning electronic retinal implant to restore useful vision to the blind. Retina Implant began implanting in human patients in 2005 and started a second clinical trial in 2010. To learn more, visit:

    About Okuvision GmbH
    Founded by the leaders of Retina Implant AG in 2007, Okuvision GmbH is an innovator in the field of transcorneal electrical stimulation (TES) for patients with early and intermediate stage retinitis pigmentosa. Building on the lessons learned through the use of Retina Implant AG's subretinal implant technology, Okuvision was founded with the goal of testing and developing a treatment option aimed at delaying the effects of retinitis pigmentosa. Okuvision's first study began in 2007 and treated 24 patients over a period of six weeks. To learn more, please visit: MSL:Retina Implant AG:Kirsten Fallon/Charlotte Webber

    Walter-G. WrobelU.S. Inquiries: 781-684-0770

    + 49 7121 36403-111 UK/EU Inquiries: +44 (0)7949 872296 Okuvision GmbH:Reinhard Rubow+49 7121 36403

    SOURCE Retina Implant AG
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