26 March 2021 – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Australia’s bionic vision: restoring sight to millions
The Australian Financial Review:
An Australian medical technology company, Melbourne-based Bionic Vision Technologies (BVT), is poised to make major inroads into the retinitis pigmentosa treatment market with a breakthrough implantable device that aims to achieve for blind people what Cochlear achieved for the profoundly deaf.
BVT has developed a “bionic eye” prosthetic implant that can restore functional vision to blind people suffering from inherited retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa.
Following a successful two-year feasibility study conducted on patients with retinitis pigmentosa, BVT is on track to complete clinical trials in early 2024 with plans for the device to become available commercially in the US and Europe in late 2024 subject to additional capital funding.
Clinical study data from patients implanted with the device show the prosthesis is safe and gives significant improvements to functional vision and quality of life. Users reported an improved awareness of external objects and surroundings.
“Our early studies have confirmed the safety and efficacy of our next-generation device. The next step is to initiate worldwide clinical trials ahead of seeking regulatory approval in key markets, starting in the US with Australia, Europe, China and India to follow,” says BVT chief executive Dr Ash Attia.
“We are on the cusp of something revolutionary with global market potential.