On Wednesday 10 November, the head of the department of ophthalmology at Montpellier University Hospital, Prof. Vincent Dessen performed this European for the first time in a 38-year-old man with keratitis associated with the herpes virus.
The cornea is the transparent front part of the eye. Corneal disease is the third leading cause of blindness in the world. They are infectious, inflammatory, traumatic or of genetic origin. The current technology used to treat blindness of corneal origin is corneal transplantation from donors. But these surgeries are at risk of being rejected.
Also read: Cornea Transplant
Artificial cornea as last hope
In France, in 2019, according to the Biomedicine Agency, 5,436 corneal transplant procedures were performed. But according to WHO, 20% of corneal blindness cannot be treated with donor cornea transplant. For these patients, the artificial cornea is therefore one of the last hopes of regaining vision.
This artificial corneal transplant may be devoid of the risk of rejection, may have a longer lifespan, and offers better optical performance than donor grafts.
ongoing clinical trial
This first took place within the framework of the clinical trial “Cornet Kepro”, developed by the Israeli company Cornet and it is proposed to use an artificial cornea. This synthetic cornea fits snugly into the wall of the eyeball, under the conjunctiva, the white part of the cornea.
The aim of the study is to assess the safety and optical efficacy of dedicated “artificial corneas” for the treatment of corneal blindness. This is the first clinical trial in humans. It has already been tested on animals and has been proven to be safe and effective.
In total, 45 patients worldwide will be able to participate in this clinical trial and thus benefit from an artificial cornea transplant. These include seven patients from Montpellier University Hospital.
Also read: Why the cornea changes
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