Second Sight artificial retina receives backing from UK government for blind study

Second Sight Medical Products will receive UK Government healthcare funding for a study involving blind patients with retinitis pigmentosa to receive treatment with the company's Argus II retinal prosthesis system.

Implantable visual prosthetics developer and maker Second Sight Medical Products (Sylmar, CA) will receive UK Government healthcare funding for a study involving blind patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) to receive treatment with the company's Argus II retinal prosthesis system.

Related: FDA approves artificial retina

NHS England has announced that a selective group of severely blind RP patients can have access to Argus II. There will be two implantation centers: Manchester Royal Eye Hospital and Moorfields Eye Hospital. The hospitals and Second Sight will also provide follow-up, rehabilitation, and support to patients receiving an Argus II implant.

Argus II will be funded via the Commissioning through Evaluation (CtE) program, which is designed for treatments that show significant promise for the future, while new clinical and patient experience data are collected within a formal evaluation program. Argus II is already reimbursed under a similar "coverage with evidence development" program in France called Forfait Innovation, where patients have benefited from the Argus II treatment.

Second Sight continues its groundbreaking work with the aim to restore vision to patients with every type of untreatable blindness. Its UK research on age-related macular degeneration (AMD)—an illness is more complex than RP—continues. In 2015, the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital fitted several AMD patients with implants.

In the U.S., Second Sight is working with the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), recently performing the successful implantation and activation of a wireless visual cortical stimulator in a human subject.

For more information, please visit www.secondsight.com.

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