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New Artificial Cornea in Clinical Trials

CorNeat Vision, a medical device company based in Israel is conducting a clinical trial to test the safety and efficacy of their keratoprosthesis (KPro), an artificial cornea for patients with corneal blindness. Unlike currently available KPros, CorNeat utilizes biocompatible properties in its synthetic cornea and offers a simplified implant process for the eye surgeon.

Ten patients, blind from cornea disease, and unable to undergo a conventional corneal transplant, or who have had past transplants that failed will participate in the study.

As in a traditional corneal transplant, the diseased cornea is first removed. The CorNeat KPro is placed on the eye and held in place with three sutures, and a porous skirt encourages the patient’s own tissue to integrate and stabilize the device.

In 1992, the FDA approved the Boston KPro, the first artificial replacement cornea. A keratoprosthesis is the last resort for patients who have had numerous corneal transplant failures, or who have sustained serious trauma or disease that makes transplant success unlikely. Easy-to-implant, synthetic corneas like the CorNeat model may someday prove valuable in parts of the world where corneal blindness exists because of lack of suitable donor tissue.

As a group, individuals with keratoconus usually have successful, long-lasting corneal transplants and are much less likely to need a keratoprosthesis than patients with other cornea diseases. Two test sites in the U.S., UCLA/Jules Stein Eye Institute in Los Angeles and Cincinnati Eye Institute are participating in the CorNeat preliminary clinical trials. To learn more, visit the CorNeat website.