On Wednesday, November 10, the head of the Department of Ophthalmology at Montpellier University Hospital, Professor. Vincent Dine first demonstrated this European in a 38-year-old man with keratitis associated with the herpes virus.
The cornea is the most anterior transparent part of the eye. Corneal diseases are the 3rd leading cause of blindness in the world. They are of infectious, inflammatory, traumatic or genetic origin. Current methods used to treat blindness of corneal origin are corneal transplantation from donors. But these surgeries run the risk of being rejected.
The last hope is the artificial cornea
In France, in 2019, According to the Biomedicine Agency, 5,436 corneal transplant procedures were performed. But according to the WHO, 20% of corneal blindness cannot be treated with a donor corneal transplant. For these patients, artificial cornea is one of the last hopes of regaining sight.
This artificial corneal transplant is less prone to rejection, has a longer lifespan and provides better optical performance than donor grafts.
Ongoing clinical trial
It first took place in the framework of a clinical trial “Cornet Kpro” developed by the Israeli company Cornet and proposed the use of an artificial cornea. This synthetic cornea fits perfectly against the wall of the eyeball, under the conjunctiva, and the white part around the cornea.
The aim of the study was to assess the safety and optical efficiency of the “artificial cornea” dedicated to the treatment of corneal blindness. This is the first clinical trial in humans. It has already been tested on animals and has proven to be safe and effective.
In total, 45 patients worldwide will be able to participate in this clinical trial and thereby benefit from artificial corneal transplantation. Among them, there were seven patients from Montpellier University Hospital.
Also read: Why the cornea needs to be replaced