Using new technology from EyeYon, an Israeli medtech startup which develops and markets medical ophthalmic devices, Israeli doctors at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem have successfully implanted the world’s thinnest artificial cornea into the eye of a human patient.
The recipient, Walid Salama, had the surgery in early March. The synthetic corneal implant provided by EyeYon, called the EndoArt, is only 50 microns thick. The procedure was performed by Liron Berkovitz, an eye surgeon specializing in cornea, cataract, and refractive surgery, and David Zadok, the head of the Ophthalmology Department at Shaare Zedek. The first transplant performed in Israel had problems due to ocular pathology and rejection of a previous corneal implant.
EyeYon Medical was founded in 2011 by Dr. Ofer Daphna, CEO Nahum Ferera MD, and Dr. Arie Marcovich, MD., and develops advanced technology to treat acute problems in the ophthalmic world.
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The company boasts that it has created the market’s first ocular drug depot platform in the form of a non-invasive, comfortable, simple to use contact lens. The unique design of its Hyper-CL Therapeutic Soft Contact Lens increases contact time and bioavailability of topical drops on the cornea.
“This is another step towards a future in which the dependence on the availability of human tissue for the purpose of performing corneal transplants in patients who need it will be reduced,” explained Dr. Liron Berkovich, a specialist in corneal disease and corneal surgery. “Instead of using a cornea from a person who has died, they will use a custom-made cornea with full availability.”
Prof. David Tzadok said, “We are pleased with the expansion of treatment options, and the medical achievement that is expected to change the lives of hundreds of patients, who have been waiting months for transplants.”
EyeYon Medical is not alone in the area of bringing eyesight to the blind. Israeli startup ForSight Robotics is developing a surgical robotic platform to deliver what it describes as high precision and cost-effective vision-saving surgery. And CorNeat Vision, an Israeli startup that develops biomimetic implant technology, recently successfully restored the vision of a 78-year-old man who had been blind for 10 years.