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Search Results for: ARGUS

The Argus II is Approved. What’s Next for Bionic Retinas?

A Retinal Implant developed by Retina Implant AGAs the Foundation reported back in February, the Argus II retinal prosthesis, developed by Second Sight Medical Products, received marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

For those of us on the front lines of fighting blindness — whether we’re raising funds, conducting  research or stand to personally benefit from the results — the device’s approval is one of the most exciting milestones in vision restoration ever achieved.
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First AMD Patient Receives Argus II Bionic Retina

Ray Flynn wearing the Argus IIThere’s nothing more exciting than news about vision restoration for someone blind from a retinal disease. But a report coming from across the pond is especially compelling, because it’s about the first person with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) to receive the Argus II bionic retina.
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How an FDA-Approved Retinal Prosthesis Came To Be

Image of the Argus II ImplantThe Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System was recently granted market approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which marks a significant milestone in the development of a therapy that has spanned more than 20 years. It was at Johns Hopkins University, in the early 1990s, that I, along with Drs. de Juan, Humayun and Dagnelie, with some early support from FFB, carried out the very first short-term (one hour or so) experiments with human volunteers. We demonstrated that electrical stimulation of the retina could, indeed, produce spots of light perceived by blind patients.

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History in the Making

Argus II Fundus ImageWhen it comes to restoring vision in people with retinal diseases, history isn’t made overnight. Treatments and technological advances have to, first, be tested in labs, and then in clinical, or human, trials. And how quickly they move through the process depends on how readily they’re funded, to the tune of tens of millions of dollars. So, making a treatment or device available to the general public takes years, if not decades. Which is why we, at FFB, are so excited about last week’s announcement that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted market approval of the Argus II retinal prosthesis.
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Argus II “Bionic Retina” Receives Recommendation for FDA Approval

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Graphic of the Argus II Prosthesis device
You wouldn’t think that the ability to sort black, white and grey socks would be a big deal for a successful attorney, but when that lawyer is completely blind from retinitis pigmentosa (RP), and used a “bionic retina” to accomplish the simple task, well, that is a big deal.
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Pixium Vision Reports Progress in Development of Two Advanced Bionic Retina Systems

Man wearing Pixium Bionic Retina GlassesWhile several companies and laboratories around the world are at various stages of bionic-retina development, Pixium Vision  located in France, is progressing impressively down two paths for these high-tech, vision-restoring systems. Both approaches show strong, near-term potential for providing meaningful vision to people who are otherwise blind from retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Pixium recently announced that its IRIS®II bionic vision system received a CE Mark, the regulatory approval necessary for marketing medical devices and other products in Europe. The IRIS II is further down the company’s clinical development pipeline than its more technologically advanced PRIMA system, which was originally conceptualized by researchers at Stanford University, and is expected to enter a clinical trial later this year for AMD.

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Bionic Vision Down Under

Participant in BVA human trialIt’s an exciting time in the world of bionic retinas, which are enabling people with blinding retinal diseases to perceive patterns of light. This, in turn, allows them to interpret basic shapes and objects, thereby improving their mobility and independence. Second Sight’s Argus II is available in the United States and Europe, and Retina Implant AG’s Alpha IMS is also on the market in Europe. Many research groups around the world are developing devices as well.
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Nouvelle Lumière: French Bionic Retina in a Human Study

A rendering of Pixium's IRIS device.There’s no doubt that 2013 was a milestone year for bionic retinas. Previously approved for sale in Europe, Second Sight’s Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System received marketing approval in February from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Also, in July, Retina Implant AG gained European marketing approval for its Alpha IMS retinal implant.
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Back in Baltimore – VISIONS 2016, FFB’s National Conference, Returns to Its Founding City

Baltimore's Inner HarborFor the second year in a row, the Foundation Fighting Blindness’ national conference — this year titled VISIONS 2016 — will take place in FFB’s founding city of Baltimore, Maryland, June 30-July 3. More than 500 people are expected to attend the event, which will offer dozens of research- and lifestyle-focused sessions designed for people who are visually impaired and sighted as well.
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The Challenge Continues: FFB Chairman Gordon Gund is Interviewed on CNBC

Gordon Gund on CNBC in NantucketGordon Gund, who’s held in extremely high esteem by people inside and outside the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB), has been completely blind for decades. He lost his eyesight to a disease called retinitis pigmentosa in his thirties. Not that it slowed him down much. Among other accomplishments, he’s been a financier, venture capitalist, sports-team owner and sculptor. And, of course, he’s a co-founder of FFB and its chairman of the board.
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A Testament to the Human Spirit

Tyler MillardIn 2012, when Tyler Millard wrote the song “Alive”—now available on iTunes, with proceeds going to the Foundation Fighting Blindness—he was having a rough time. Since being diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) seven years earlier, he’d lost enough eyesight to have to give up his plans to teach math. He’d also taken up the guitar and was singing and songwriting, although the gigs were few and far between.
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The Retina Goes Bionic

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Bionic Eye GraphicRemember the 1970s TV show The Six Million Dollar Man, featuring Lee Majors as Col. Steve Austin? Also known as the “Bionic Man,” he had a number of bionic – electronic and/or mechanical – body parts, including one eye, which gave him super-human powers to fight evildoers and save pets, small children and damsels in distress from imminent peril.

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Another Promising Bionic Retina

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Video Screenshot
Last February, I blogged about the emergence of “bionic” or artificial retinas for restoring some vision in people who are blind from retinal diseases. In that post, I featured Second Sight’s vision-restoring device, the Argus II, which is now on
the market in Europe and, hopefully, soon in the United States.
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Giving Thanks

The Foundation gives thanks to its supporters.How do you thank the tens of thousands of people who’ve contributed in so many ways this past year – volunteer work, donations, research advances, etc. – to help FFB eradicate retinal diseases? Aside from giving a general shout-out to those folks (you know who you are, including Eye on the Cure readers), we can offer highlights, a sampling, if you will, of the many achievements Foundation supporters have helped make happen this past year.
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Retinal Patch Performs Promisingly in Clinical Trial for Dry AMD Patients

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Regenerative Patch Technologies, a company developing stem-cell-derived treatments for people with retinal diseases, has reported encouraging results for the first five patients with advanced, dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) participating in a Phase 1/2a clinical trial for its therapy – a patch comprised of a layer of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells on a synthetic scaffold. The treatment is known as the California Project to Cure Blindness–Retinal Pigment Epithelium 1 (CPCB-RPE1).
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VISIONS 2015, FFB’s National Conference — In Our Founding City!

skyline of BaltimoreIt was 44 years ago that a handful of Baltimore-area families—intent on wiping out the vision-robbing retinal diseases affecting their members—established the Foundation Fighting Blindness. They soon discovered how daunting that task would be, but also offered each other support and solace during a very dark time.
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Top 12 Research Advancements of 2012

Image of lab beakerAt the Foundation Fighting Blindness, we are always looking forward. Our scientists are continually focused on achieving the next sight-saving breakthrough, and our donors and volunteers are always looking for new opportunities to raise more money to drive the research.

But for a moment, as we put the wraps on 2012, it is very inspiring to look back on the past year and reflect on the many exciting advancements that have been made in our quest for treatments and cures.
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Staying Alive: Saving Retinal Cells to Preserve Vision

Woman Receives Eye dropsResearchers are developing a number of promising treatment approaches for blinding retinal diseases, which include: correcting genetic defects; replacing lost retinal cells with new ones; and implanting electronic chips, like the recently FDA-approved Argus II. But, sometimes, saving vision simply comes down to keeping retinal cells alive, or at least slowing their degeneration. Known as “neuroprotection,” this approach isn’t just for the retina — it has the potential to preserve and protect all kinds of neural cells, including brain tissue and cells of the central nervous system.
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The iPhone as Assistive Technology: The Good, The Bad and The Funny

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The iPhone 5
When Richard Faubion got the iPhone 4S – the first to include the intelligence software known as the female-voiced Siri – St. Patrick’s Day was coming up. “So I asked Siri to find me an Irish pub,” he recalls. “She told me of 17 locations and provided Yelp reviews, addresses, how far they were. All this came instantly. The things it can find and do – it’s amazing.”

Richard – who has retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and is the Foundation’s Director of Development, West Region – is among a growing legion of visually impaired people turning to the iPhone for assistive technology. To better understand what sets the device apart from others, I spoke with Richard and two other FFB associates affected by retinal diseases to get the skinny on the iPhone, both pros and cons.

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