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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.

Better known as the “bionic retina,” the device had been in development for 20-plus years, as Robert Greenberg, founder and CEO of its maker, Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., shared in an Eye on the Cure post. In particular, it serves those with advanced retinitis pigmentosa who are either profoundly or completely blind. I recently had the privilege of speaking with Keith Hayman, a charming, gregarious Englishman who participated in an Argus II clinical trial in the UK and told me it took years off his life.

Market approval of the Argus II is especially poignant because FFB funded an early stage of its development, and we’ve closely followed and reported on its development ever since. For these reasons, Foundation staff and board members were quoted, last week, in articles on the device in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Our offices were also paid a visit by Al Jazeera TV, which aired this piece over the weekend.

But the buzz extends even farther, with articles and posts showing up in numerous blogs and publications, including USA Today, Forbes, Popular Science, Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times.

We congratulate Second Sight and are honored to have played a role in the Argus II’s development. And, as always, we look forward to reporting more good news about treatments and technological advances for restoring vision for people with  retinal diseases in the future.

Pictured, above: the Argus II implanted on the retina


15 Responses to 'History in the Making'

  1. Michael Jackson says:

    i amm so excited about this wonderful scientific breakthrough. i am completly blind from RP, so i definatly want to find out where and when this will be avalable. I live in north carolina and want to know where the Angus 11 would be avalable, so if you would ,please send me a email with this information. thank you

  2. Cruz Mcpike says:

    I feel better reading your blog. Sorry I have not discovered sooner, but it’s never late.

  3. Nicolette says:

    Wow, I have an eight year old that loves sports and all. I am unable to enjoy as well as let him enjoy several night activities, especially when it gets dark at 530 DUE TO loss of night vision. I have RP and I am embarassed and hurt with the daily activities I go through. This is very important to me because I am currently working but ONE of my biggest fears was to have to quit working due to my vision. I have the flashes often and I have lost alot of side vision. Finally, and THANK GOD! I just have to get with the next step and figure out how, where, when can I do this.

  4. Vicente Alvarado says:

    I am so happy about this wonderful scientific breakthrough.I am blind in one eye from RP.I definatly want to find out where and when this will be avalable. I am from connecticut and i want to know where the Angus 11 would be avalable.Please send me a email with this information.

    Thank you,

    vinnie

    • EyeOnTheCure says:

      Hi Vinny, thanks for your comment.

      For more information on the Argus II and if it may be an option for you, we recommend that you contact Second Sight Medical Products at 1-855-756-3703.

  5. Christopher Gore says:

    My name is Marion Helton and my grandson Christopher Gore has RP. He is 27 lives with me is a wonderful young man who would so greatly benefit from being able to take advantage of getting the Angus 11. Please let us know the details. What a life changing opportunity it would be.

  6. Sunil Prasad says:

    I am really very happy about to know about this breaking news.My sister in law is blind botheye from RP.I definatly want to find out where and when this will be avalable. I want to know where the Angus 11 would be available.Please send me a email with this information.I am living in Asian continent from India Mumbai.

  7. Asanka says:

    Is this available now? Please let us know.

    MT

    Asa

    • Eye on the Cure says:

      Thank for your message.

      For more information on the Argus II and if it may be an option for you, we recommend that you contact their Second Sight Medical Products hotline at 1-855-756-3703.

  8. Kristen Daniels says:

    Can you do this to people with STARGARDTS DISEASE?

    Thank you

    A mother with a teenage daughter who has STARGARDTS

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    ;) I will revisit yyet again since I saved as a favorite it.

    Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich
    and continue to guide others.

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