Lions VisionGift’s focus on research and innovation once again pays off with the issuing of a technology patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

PORTLAND, OR, August 7, 2018 – Lions VisionGift (LVG), one of the nation’s leading eye banks, is excited to announce that that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has granted it a patent for claims for its invention of Patient Ready DMEK™. 

The patent is titled, Corneal Tissue Sample Assemblies and Related Methods of Use (US 10,041,865 B2),  and covers LVG’s innovative assembly for the handling, transporting, viewing, evaluating, and/or shipping of corneal tissue.  The patent is the culmination of years of work to create an innovative way to provide endothelial tissue in a manner that can meet the strict evaluation and quality standards that are a cornerstone to LVG’s success. 

“It is truly humbling to work with so many bright and dedicated people who worked hard to bring this from concept to reality. This achievement represents a tremendous organizational investment. The field of eye banking is evolving – innovation now requires a new sense of forethought and intentionality to ensure that good ideas can be translated into advances in patient care.” –  Said Chris Stoeger, CEO of Lions VisionGift. 

Dr. Khoa Tran, LVG’s Research and Development Scientist, is the primary inventor of the assembly, which he developed after spending time working with surgeons, eye bank processors, and outside vendors to modify the shape and size of key elements of the delivery system.  After much testing to validate the process and assembly for evaluation consistency, shipping, and primarily safety, the first tissues were transplanted in early 2017.  To date, over 1500 corneas have been transplanted using the Patient Ready DMEK™ system.  LVG currently offers limited licensing of the technology to other eye banks in the U.S.

“The name, Patient Ready DMEK™, was chosen for our system as a reminder that patients come first. The patented process behind this service lets surgeons know that the standardized tissue preparation and delivery methods used to provide transplant grafts have been thoroughly validated.”  Said Khoa Tran, PhD, LVG’s R&D Scientist, “This patent will help LVG extend the benefits of our vigorous laboratory and clinical testing to partner eye banks who share our passion to honor this precious tissue gift by delivering high-quality transplant grafts”.
Lions VisionGift is dedicated to advancing transplantation, research and education to honor donors and their gifts of sight.  Since its inception in 1975, over 40,000 people have received the gift of sight from tissue procured and screened by Lions VisionGift.  Additionally, thousands of gifts have been utilized for ocular research and surgical training.  Lions VisionGift has locations in both Portland, Oregon and Boston, Massachusetts.