Albrecht von Graefe Lecture at the 27th International Congress of German Ophthalmic Surgeons (DOC) to Honour Retinal Prosthesis Pioneer

May 16, 2014

NUREMBERG, Germany, May 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ –

Prof Mark S. Humayun delivers the honorary lecture: With Argus(R) II,
retinal prostheses are a reality, outlining best achieved vision in 30 implanted patients

after 5 years

Die Innovator’s Lecture or Albrecht-von-Graefe Lecture is one of the highlights of the
International Congress of German Ophthalmic Surgeons (DOC) and an invitation to attend is
a great distinction for ophthalmologists. This year, Prof Mark S. Humayun will give the
honorary lecture titled “Bioelectronic Vision – a Clinical Reality” and elaborate on the
efforts to develop retinal prostheses, spanning more than 20 years and preliminarily
culminating in the marketing authorization for Argus II.

Mark S. Humayun was among the first scientists to no longer accept that patients with
retinitis pigmentosa eventually become blind. As one of the leading biomedical technology
experts for cell and neurobiology, he very early recognised the possibility to use a
prosthesis to bypass dead retinal cells. Since the beginning of the 1980s, Humayun’s
research into retinal prostheses has contributed significantly to the development in this

Together with Dr Robert Greenberg, the President and CEO of Second Sight, he pioneered
the “bionic eye” for patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and other degenerative
retinal diseases. Dr Greenberg as an engineer was primarily responsible for the
development of the hardware. Prof Humayun’s contribution as a medical specialist was to
ensure that the retinal chip was perfectly designed to be implanted into the human eye.

“In the early 1980s, we took on the task of shifting the boundaries of what medicine
can do for patients with retinitis pigmentosa and other degenerative retinal diseases and
bring back some degree of vision to those affected,” said Prof Humayun, describing the
early stage of Argus II’s development. “We are delighted to see that our work is no longer
experimental. Argus II is the first product to be approved in Europe and the United States
- and to become a clinical reality. Today, we can bring back functional vision to patients
diagnosed with RP – and this helps patients a great deal to manage their daily lives more

Best achieved vision is 20/1260 (0.02-1.8 LogMAR)

In his lecture, Prof Humayun presented the latest data from a long-term study
following-up 30 Argus II patients over up to 60 months. The average vision of the 30
patients with retinal implants participating in the study improved from sensing light to
recognizing hand movements and some even advanced to being able to count fingers, read,
and more. The best vision achieved so far is 20/1260 (0.02-1.8 LogMAR)

Today, more than 80 patients worldwide are enjoying the benefits of the first approved
retinal prosthesis system. Blind users of Argus II have experienced dramatic improvements
in performing their daily activities, including, for example: locating everyday items,
identifying objects at various distances, crossing the road independently by being able to
recognize pedestrian crossings, avoiding obstructions while walking, and avoiding drooping
branches and other obstacles at head height.

The only commercially available retinal implant with update option

Since having been granted CE mark approval in 2011, the Argus II has continuously been
developed further. Improvements to the solution, which comprises a camera with glasses and
a video processing system, have enabled patients to see the contours of the image
perceived at approx. 20degree(s) visual field more clearly, enabling them to better
recognise them. The camera and video processing system are not implanted into the eye.
Thus, the Argus II is the one and only retinal implant allowing patients to benefit from
technological advances based on hardware and software updates without the need for further

Ophthalmologists and patients who like to learn more about eligibility criteria and
the benefits for the patient can contact patients@2-sight.com.

About Retinitis Pigmentosa

RP is a rare, hereditary disease that causes a progressive degeneration of the
light-sensitive cells of the retina, leading to significant visual impairment and
ultimately blindness. There are an estimated 1.2 million people worldwide with RP. Second
Sight’s Argus II System employs electrical stimulation to bypass the defunct cells and
stimulate remaining viable retinal cells inducing visual perception in blind individuals.
The Argus II is the first artificial retina to receive approval in Europe (CE Mark) and in
the USA.

About Argus II

The Argus II System works by converting video images captured by a miniature camera
housed in the patient’s glasses into a series of small electrical pulses that are
transmitted wirelessly to an array of electrodes on the surface of the retina. These
pulses are intended to stimulate the retina’s remaining cells resulting in the
corresponding perception of patterns of light in the brain. The patient then learns to
interpret these visual patterns thereby regaining some visual function. Argus II has CE
approval since 2011 and FDA approval since 2013.

About Second Sight

Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., located in Los Angeles, California, was founded
in 1998 to create a retinal prosthesis to provide sight to patients blinded from outer
retinal degenerations such as RP. Through dedication and innovation, Second Sight’s
mission is to develop, manufacture and market implantable visual prosthetics to enable
blind individuals to achieve greater independence. U.S. Headquarters are in Sylmar, CA,
and European Headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland. For more information, visit


        Media Contact
        Amanda Hayhurst,
        Gloucester Road Communications,
        Tel.: +44(0)772-0205581

        Second Sight Medical Products
        Gregoire Cosendai, PhD
        Vice President - Europe
        Tel.: +41-21-693-91-51

SOURCE Second Sights Medical

Source: PR Newswire

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