SYLMAR, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., the leading developer of retinal prostheses for the blind, today announced that its Argus® II Retinal Prosthesis System (“Argus II”) will be initially offered in 12 major markets across the U.S. to treat patients with late stage retinitis pigmentosa (RP). This news follows U.S. market approval for the Argus II by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in February of this year. The Argus II is the first and only “bionic eye” to be approved in countries throughout the world, including the U.S.
In preparation for the launch of Argus II later this year, implanting centers will soon begin to accept consultations for patients with RP. These centers will be located at nationally recognized and prestigious hospitals in Ann Arbor, MI; Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Dallas, TX; Durham, NC; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Nashville, TN; Philadelphia, PA; and San Francisco, CA.
“We are thrilled that several of the nation’s top hospitals will be the first to offer Argus II to patients in the U.S.,” said Brian Mech, Vice President of Business Development, Second Sight. “After an intensive and difficult selection process, these sites were chosen for their cutting-edge approach to medicine and unparalleled commitment to patient care. We are confident that RP patients seeking treatment at these centers will benefit greatly from the best-in-class services these sites provide.”
The Argus II is a retinal implant that is designed to provide electrical stimulation to the retina, to induce visual perception in blind individuals with RP. The device’s groundbreaking technology and long-term reliability allow it to provide life-changing visual capabilities to patients who are functionally blind.
With such a promising solution for patients suffering from profound vision loss on the horizon, eye care physicians, and others, are highly anticipating the Argus II’s arrival. “We have been pleased with the tremendous response from doctors, hospitals, and patients alike since the FDA approval. All are anxious to get started, as are we,” indicated Robert Greenberg, President and CEO of Second Sight. “Selecting these initial centers of excellence brings us one step closer to that reality!”
In order to make the Argus II therapy more widely accessible to patients with end-stage RP, the company will continue to actively identify additional centers across the country, while at the same time working to ensure adequate insurance coverage for the system and the medical activities surrounding the delivery of the therapy. Second Sight encourages interested patients and surgical centers to contact the company for more information.
About Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)
RP is an inherited retinal degenerative disease that often results in near-complete blindness. It is caused by abnormalities of the photoreceptors (rods and cones) or the retinal pigment epithelium of the retina, leading to progressive loss of vision. It’s estimated that RP affects roughly 100,000 Americans.
About the Argus II System
The Argus II System works by converting video images captured by a miniature camera housed in the patient’s glasses into a series of small electrical pulses that are transmitted wirelessly to an array of electrodes on the surface of the retina. These pulses are intended to stimulate the retina’s remaining cells, resulting in the corresponding perception of patterns of light in the brain. The patient then learns to interpret these visual patterns, thereby regaining some visual function.
About Second Sight
Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., located near Los Angeles, California, was founded in 1998 to create a retinal prosthesis to provide sight to patients blinded from outer retinal degenerations such as RP. Through dedication and innovation, Second Sight's mission is to develop, manufacture, and market implantable visual prosthetics to enable blind individuals to achieve greater independence. U.S. Headquarters are in Sylmar, CA, and European Headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland. For more information, visit www.2-sight.com.