Purpose: To evaluate the safety and preliminary efficacy of a novel visual prosthetic device, the Implantable Miniature Telescope, IMT (by Dr Isaac Lipshitz) (IMT), in a phase I trial in patients with significant bilateral central vision impairment from late-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The IMT is designed to reduce the relative size of the scotoma by rendering enlarged (threefold) central visual field images over the central and peripheral retina.
Design: Prospective, multicenter, open-label clinical trial.
Methods: In this prospective, multicenter phase I trial, 14 patients aged 60 or older with bilateral geographic atrophy or disciform scar AMD, cataract, and best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) between 20/80 and 20/400 had an IMT implanted in one eye. Distance and near BCVA, endothelial cell density, and quality of life, measured as activities of daily life (ADL), were evaluated preoperatively and postoperatively.
Results: At 12 months, 10 (77%) of 13 patients gained 2 more lines of either distance or near BCVA, and eight (62%) of 13 patients gained 3 or more lines in either distance or near BCVA. Mean endothelial cell density decreased by 13%. All adverse events resolved without sequelae. ADL scores improved in the majority of patients.
Conclusion: The results of this phase I trial support further evaluation of the IMT in a larger study population with late-stage AMD. A phase II/III trial is in progress.