Argus II Retinal Prosthesis to be Offered at 12 U.S. Clinical Centers

June 28, 2013

The Argus II® Retinal Prosthesis System, which restores some useful vision to people blind from advanced retinitis pigmentosa, will be offered later this year at 12 clinical centers throughout the United States. 

Second Sight Medical Products, developer of the Argus II, reports that the implanting centers will be located at nationally recognized hospitals in Ann Arbor, Michigan; Atlanta, Georgia; Baltimore, Maryland; Chicago, Illinois; Cleveland, Ohio; Dallas, Texas; Durham, North Carolina; Los Angeles, California; Miami, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and San Francisco, California.

Patient consultations at the centers are expected to begin soon. For more information, or call Second Sight at 1-855-756-3703.Second Sight’s announcement comes the day before its featured presentation, “Argus II Retinal Prosthesis: Learning to See Again,” at the Foundation Fighting Blindness’ VISIONS 2013 in Baltimore. The Foundation funded earlier lab research by Mark Humayan, M.D., Ph.D., and Eugene DeJuan, M.D., when they were with the Wilmer Eye Institute at Johns Hopkins University. Their efforts made clinical development of the Argus II possible.

Earlier this year, the Argus II received marketing approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It also has marketing approval in Europe, and is the only retinal prosthesis with regulatory approval anywhere in the world.

The Argus II consists of an external video camera mounted on a pair of sunglasses, which sends visual images to a 60-electrode grid surgically implanted on the retina. The grid converts those images to electrical signals, which are sent back to the brain.

Users of the device perceive patterns of light, which the brain learns to interpret as vision. The device has enabled clinical trial participants who are profoundly blind from retinal degeneration to see shapes, recognize large letters and significantly improve mobility.

Second Sight says that it continues to identify more centers in the United States to implant the device. The company is also working to gain insurance coverage for the device with assistance from the Foundation.

Additional information on the availability of the Argus II in the U.S. will be provided on the Foundation’s website as it becomes available.