"A bridge between patients, medicine and research"

Retina Implant AG showcased its product developments as part of the 115th DOG Conference of the German Society of Ophthalmology, which was held in Berlin from 28 September to 1 October 2017. The medtech company also collaborated with PRO RETINA Deutschland e.V. to mark the “International Retina Day” at the annual conference on September 30. Self-help organisation PRO RETINA offered visually impaired people the chance to join its patient register for free on this day. The patient register is hugely important for research and treatment of rare congenital retinal conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa.

For 15 years, Retina Implant AG has been working intensively on researching and treating rare congenital retinal conditions. The medtech company was therefore keen to support the initiative of PRO RETINA Deutschland e.V, a self-help organisation by and for people with retinal degeneration, which opened its patient register free of charge to people affected by these conditions for one day only on 30 September, “International Retina Day”. “The patient register is neutral, independent and, of course, anonymous. It enables people with specific kinds of visual impairment to help develop studies, because researchers who are working on a study can contact PRO RETINA, and we will then contact the patients,” explains Markus Georg, Managing Director of PRO RETINA Deutschland e.V. “This means we can actively support ophthalmology research, especially research into rare conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa. Our database forms a bridge between patients, medicine and research.”

The subretinal implant from Retina Implant AG can help visually impaired patients who perceive very little or no light as a result of various kinds of degenerative retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa to regain a certain degree of useful sight. Most patients with an implanted chip can identify light sources, for example, which makes it easier for them to find their way around a room again. “Everyone with an interest in research and development in the field of degenerative retinal conditions will welcome this PRO RETINA campaign,” explains Reinhard Rubow, CEO of Retina Implant AG. “The patient register is an important tool for bringing together patients, families, doctors and scientists with the aim of improving treatment for people with RP. This is our job, too, and that is why we welcome and support this initiative.”

On the day before the DOG Conference, PRO RETINA also organised a patient symposium on “Retinal degeneration – insights and outlooks”. This included a presentation by Prof. Florian Gekeler from the Eye Clinic at Katharinenhospital Stuttgart, in which he outlined various treatment options, from transcorneal electrical stimulation to retinal chips. The RETINA IMPLANT Alpha AMS subretinal chip was also the subject of a presentation at the DOG conference given by Dr. Katarina Stingl from the Tübingen Ophthalmology Research Institute. She presented the results of the latest study investigating the effectiveness of the retinal implant in 15 blind patients with congenital retinal degeneration (“Efficacy of retina implant alpha AMS in 15 patients blind from inherited retinal degenerations”).

Contact form for the PRO RETINA Deutschland e.V. patient register: www.pro-retina.de/forschungsfoerderung/patientenregister/formular