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It is one of the big challenges of ophthalmology to develop a therapy of congenital and degenerative retinal diseases.

For decades, emphasis was placed on improving surgical procedures in cataract operations; at present, scientists are focussing on those diseases that strongly affect sight in old age and that may even lead to blindness.

The world population forecast gives us reason to expect that the need for therapy will increase over the next century: according to U.N. predictions, the world population will continue growing until the year 2050 and thereafter, as already today in Europe, continue to age for another 50 years.

There are many signs that the retina is moving center-stage in ophthalmology:

  • Ever more research groups worldwide are beginning to turn their attention to the area of retinal prosthesis: there exist groups in Germany, in the USA, in Japan, Korea and in Switzerland. Retina Implant AG builds upon one of the oldest and most experienced research groups.
  • Ever more pharmaceutical companies are developing drugs that aim at slowing down the course of the disease. Sooner or later, however, a retinal prosthesis will be inevitable.
  • Market studies on ophthalmological products have begun dedicating entire chapters on prognoses concerning the future of the retina market and predict a growth of yearly sales in the range of 1 billion USD (2012) for retinal drugs and retinal prostheses.
Worldwide Retinal Products Market
Worldwide Retinal Products Market
Source: Marketscope, Comprehensive Report on the Global Retinal Market, 2003.

U.S. Surgeon Level of Interest in Retinal Implants
U.S. Surgeon Level of Interest in Retinal Implants
Source: Marketscope, Comprehensive Report on the Global Retinal Market, 2003

(Mio. $)20052006200720082009201020112012
Total Revenue075.7119.3359540.6752.7881.81018
Source: Marketscope, Comprehensive Report on the Global Retinal Market, 2003

In such a situation where a new market announces itself, the supplier who is the first to place a fully functioning solution onto the market has the best chances of remaining the leading supplier for decades. (R.N.Foster, Innovation – the Attacker’s advantage).

“functioning solution” means:

  • fully working implant
  • long-term biocompatiility
  • Acceptable degree of improvement of ability to see
  • ability to move in space as with a healthy human eye
  • must be simple to implant
  • must be easy to deal with by the patient
  • excellent technical support as well as ongoing training of ophthalmic surgeons responsible for implanting

Retina Implant has here the most promising conditions at the outset!