The CorNeat KPro, an artificial cornea that integrates with the eye wall with no reliance on donor tissue, was successfully implanted in a human. The surgery was performed on a bilaterally blind, 78-year-old male at Rabin Medical Center, Israel, by Professor Irit Bahar, Director of the Ophthalmology Department. Upon removal of bandages, the CorNeat KPro immediately enabled the patient to read text and recognize family members. This moment can be viewed in the following link.
“The surgical procedure was straight forward and the result exceeded all of our expectations. The moment we took off the bandages was an emotional and significant moment. Moments like these are the fulfillment of our calling as doctors. We are proud of being at the forefront of this exciting and meaningful project which will undoubtedly impact the lives of millions.”
“Unveiling this first implanted eye and being in that room, in that moment, was surreal. After years of hard work, seeing a colleague implant the CorNeat KPro with ease and witnessing a fellow human being regain his sight the following day was electrifying and emotionally moving, there were a lot of tears in the room,” Dr. Gilad Litvin, CorNeat Vision’s Co-Founder, Chief Medical Officer, and the inventor of the CorNeat KPro, said in a company news release. “This is an extremely important milestone for CorNeat Vision, key in our journey to enable people around the world to fully enjoy their vision potential. I am grateful and honored to work with an outstanding group of people whose hard work, diligence and creativity, made this moment possible.”
Almog Aley-Raz, CorNeat Vision’s Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer & VP R&D, noted: “The CorNeat KPro’s first-in-human implantation is just the first step in a multi-national clinical trial, geared toward attaining CE Mark, FDA Clearance and China NMPA approval. A total of 10 patients are approved for the trial at Rabin Medical Center in Israel with two additional sites planned to open this January in Canada and six others at different stages in the approval process in France, the US, and the Netherlands. Our first trial includes blind patients who are not suitable candidates for- or have failed one or more corneal transplantations. Given the exceptional visual performance of our device, the expected healing time and retention, and the fact that it cannot carry disease, we plan to initiate a second study later this year with broader indications to approve our artificial cornea as a first line treatment, displacing the use of donor tissue used in full thickness corneal transplantations.”
The CorNeat KPro implant is designed to replace deformed, scarred or opacified corneas and is expected to fully and immediately rehabilitate the vision of corneally blind patients following a relatively simple implantation procedure, according to CorNeat.