A new report from the research and consulting firm GlobalData predicts a promising future for the ocular medical device market.
The report’s author, GlobalData’s medical device analyst Shashank Settipalli, writes that the successful implantation of the Alpha IMS device made by Retina Implant AG could kick start the growth of the “burgeoning retinal prosthesis market.”
Scientists from the University of Oxford recently installed the implant in Rhian Lewis, a woman in the U.K. who suffered from retinitis pigmentosa, a rare disease that has no cure.
Photoreceptor cells in the eye die at the onset of the disease. Lewis has no vision in her left eye and was rendered completely blind in her right eye.
The wafer-thin electronic chip powered by a tiny battery housed behind the ear restored vision in Lewis’s right eye helping her to see again.
The Alpha IMS device has distinct advantages over Second Sight’s Argus II system, its closest competitor in the retinitis pigmentosa space, says Settipalli. This rival product can help an individual suffering from this disease view light and shapes, but does not restore someone’s vision, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The analyst highlights another difference between Second Sight’s and Retina AG’s devices writing that “Unlike the Argus II, the Alpha IMS device does not require an external camera or video processing unit. By leveraging these advantages and positive clinical results, Retina Implant AG has ample opportunities to expand its presence in the ocular devices space.”
Settipalli concludes his analysis describing how this market will continue to flourish: “Start-up and mid-size ophthalmic device companies could appeal to investors encouraged by recent developments, whereas the larger multinational firms may seek new growth strategies through acquisitions and strong research and development efforts.”