• All Share : 52270.8606
    DOWN -1.02%
    Top40 - (Tradeable) : 46285.6524
    DOWN -1.13%
    Financial 15 : 16587.8589
    DOWN -1.84%
    Industrial 25 : 66206.1702
    DOWN -1.37%
    Resource 10 : 41916.9523
    UP 0.81%

  • ZAR/USD : 12.1525
    UP 0.12%
    ZAR/GBP : 18.5412
    UNCHANGED0.00%
    ZAR/EUR : 13.3467
    UP 0.14%
    ZAR/JPY : 0.0974
    DOWN -0.10%
    ZAR/AUD : 9.285
    UNCHANGED0.00%

  • Gold US$/oz : 1189.92
    UNCHANGED0.00%
    Platinum US$/oz : 1116.5
    UNCHANGED0.00%
    Silver US$/oz : 16.67
    UNCHANGED0.00%
    Palladium US$/oz : 776.73
    UNCHANGED0.00%
    Brent Crude : 65.5
    UNCHANGED0.00%

  • All data is delayed by 15 min. Data supplied by Profile Data
    Hover cursor over this ticker to pause.

Sun May 31 00:29:50 SAST 2015

US regulators approve bionic eye

Sapa-AFP | 15 February, 2013 09:04
Handout of Doctor Allen examining Ashworth, who is fitted with a prototype bionic eye, in Melbourne
Doctor Penny Allen (R) examines Dianne Ashworth, who is fitted with a prototype bionic eye, in Melbourne August 2012.
Image by: HANDOUT / REUTERS

US regulators approved a so-called bionic eye on Thursday, giving hope to people with a rare genetic disease.

Developed by California-based Second Sight Medical Products, the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System is the first retinal implant for adults with advanced retinitis pigmentosa that results in the gradual loss of vision and can lead to blindness.

"While the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System will not restore vision to patients, it may allow them to detect light and dark in the environment, aiding them in identifying the location or movement of objects or people," the US Food and Drug Administration said in a statement announcing its decision.

The device includes a small video camera and a transmitter mounted on a pair of glasses, as well as a video processing unit and an implanted retinal prosthesis that replaces the function of degenerated cells in the retina.

"This new surgically implanted assistive device provides an option for patients who have lost their sight to RP (retinitis pigmentosa), for whom there have been no FDA-approved treatments," said Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

"The device may help adults with RP who have lost the ability to perceive shapes and movement to be more mobile and to perform day-to-day activities."

Already greenlighted by European regulators, the FDA approved the Argus II as a humanitarian use device, which is limited to instruments that treat or diagnose fewer than 4,000 people in the United States annually.

Second Sight welcomed the news, calling it a game changer.

"With this approval, we look forward to building a strong surgical network in the United States and recruiting new hospitals that will offer the Argus II retinal implant," said president and CEO Robert Greenberg.

"This is a game changer in sight-affecting diseases, that represents a huge step forward for the field and for these patients who were without any available treatment options until now."

SHARE YOUR OPINION

If you have an opinion you would like to share on this article, please send us an e-mail to the Times LIVE iLIVE team. In the mean time, click here to view the Times LIVE iLIVE section.