Israeli ophthalmic medical devices startup CorNeat Vision has announced that it has completed the design and development stage of its artificial cornea implant (CorNeat KPro / Keratoprosthesis) - an associated implantation tool and dedicated manufacturing process.
Following successful trials in rabbits, the Ra'anana based company is initiating formal biocompatibility and safety tests toward first implantation in humans by mid-2018. The solution is being unveiled this week to ophthalmic professionals at the XXXV European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons Congress (ESCRS) in Lisbon, Portugal.
The CorNeat KPro implant is a patent-pending synthetic cornea that utilizes advanced cell technology to integrate artificial optics within resident ocular tissue. The CorNeat KPro is produced using nanoscale chemical engineering that stimulates cellular growth. Unlike previous devices, which attempted to integrate optics into the native cornea, the CorNeat KPro leverages a virtual space under the conjunctiva that is rich with fibroblast cells that heals quickly and provides robust long-term integration. Combined with a novel and simple 30-minute surgical procedure, the CorNeat KPro provides an esthetic, efficient, scalable remedy for millions of people with cornea-related visual impairments and is far superior to any available biological and synthetic alternatives.
CorNet Vision CEO and VP R&D Almog Aley-Raz said, "Corneal pathology is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide with 20-30 million patients in need of a remedy and around 2 million new cases/year. Though a profound cause of distress and disability, existing solutions, such as corneal transplantation, are carried out only about 200,000 times/year worldwide. Together, corneal transplantation, and to a much lesser extent artificial implants (KPros), address only 5%-10% of cases, "There exists an urgent need for an efficient, long-lasting and affordable solution to corneal pathology, injury and blindness, which would alleviate the suffering and disability of millions of people."
"The groundbreaking results obtained in our proof of concept which is backed by conclusive histopathological evidence, are extremely encouraging. We are entering the next phase with great confidence that CorNeat KPro will address corneal blindness just like IOLs (Intra Ocular Lens) addressed cataract", commented Dr. Gilad Litvin, CorNeat Vision’s Chief Medical Officer and founder and the CorNeat KPro inventor. "Our novel IP, now cleared by the European Patent Office, ensures long-term retention, robust integration into the eye and an operation that is significantly shorter and simpler than Keratoplasty (Corneal transplantation).
“The innovative approach behind CorNeat KPro coupled by the team's execution ability present a unique opportunity to finally address the global corneal blindness challenge”, added Prof. Ehud Assia., head of the ophthalmic department at the Meir Hospital in Kfar Saba, Israel, a serial ophthalmic innovator, and a member of CorNeat Vision scientific advisory board.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on October 8, 2017
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