In Germany alone there live approximately 130,000 blind persons. Every year, 17,000 additional persons become blind, one fourth of these as a result of a degenerative retinal disease. Among these belong Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), where the photoreceptors (rods and cones) of the retina perish. In RP the photoreceptors degenerate from the periphery to the center of the visual field. In AMD, first those receptors that are located at the center of the visual field perish, leaving the visual capacity in the periphery intact. These persons are still regarded as blind and as a rule they are no longer able to read or to move around independently.
Ophthalmogists are still unable to help patients that have become blind as a result of degenerative retinal diseases with therapeutical drugs or medical products.
Retina Implant AG aims at changing this situation. The company defines itself as innovative “development and production company” for medical products for visually handicapped and blind patients and it aims at being the first worldwide to make available functioning subretinal retinal implants. By determined continuing development and improvement of the implants and their capability, the company’s existing lead should be consolidated and further strengthened.
Retina Implant’s plan is, in the medium-term ,the most promising because crucial aspects like implantability, biocompatibility, spatial resolution and technical realisation have been experimentally proven, whereas this is only partially the case concerning other developments.