SYLMAR, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Second Sight Medical Products, Inc. (Nasdaq: EYES) (“Second Sight” or “the Company”), a developer, manufacturer and marketer of implantable visual prosthetics to provide functional vision to blind patients, today announced that two newly approved centers, located in Camposampiero and Florence, have successfully completed their first commercial implants of the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System (“Argus II”) in patients with outer retinal degeneration.
“We are thrilled to see the expanded availability of Argus II in Italy,” stated Dr. Robert Greenberg, Chief Executive Officer of Second Sight. “By offering Argus II in Italy, we are able to provide patients with outer retinal degeneration the chance to lead more independent lives, which can be life changing for these patients.”
Outer retinal degeneration is the deterioration of the outer layer of the retina caused by progressive death of the cells in this region of the retina. An important type of outer retinal degeneration is Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), which is a rare, hereditary disease that causes a progressive degeneration of the light-sensitive cells of the retina, leading to significant visual impairment and ultimately can lead to blindness. There are an estimated 2,200 people in Italy, and 167,000 persons across Europe with RP in total.
To date, the Argus II has been implanted in more than 100 individuals worldwide, and is the first approved retinal prosthesis in the world. Currently, the treatment is offered at approved centers in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States. The system induces visual perception in blind individuals by providing electrical pulses to stimulate the retina’s remaining cells, resulting in a perception of light patterns in the brain. The Argus II has the potential to offer life changing visual capabilities to those with little or no remaining functional vision. The Argus II implant can positively impact a blind person’s ability to conduct routine daily activities, such as recognizing shapes or large objects, locating people, identifying the location of doorways, and following lines or edges. Ultimately, this is meant to allow Argus II users to live their daily lives with more confidence.
About the Argus® II Retinal Prosthesis System
Second Sight’s Argus II System provides electrical stimulation that bypasses the defunct retinal cells and stimulates remaining viable cells inducing visual perception in individuals with severe to profound retinitis pigmentosa. The Argus II works by converting images captured by a miniature video camera mounted on the patient’s glasses into a series of small electrical pulses, which are transmitted wirelessly to an array of electrodes implanted on the surface of the retina. These pulses are intended to stimulate the retina’s remaining cells, resulting in the perception of patterns of light in the brain. The patient then learns to interpret these visual patterns, thereby regaining some visual function. The system is controlled by software and is upgradeable, which may provide improved performance as new algorithms are developed and tested.
About Second Sight
Second Sight Medical Products, Inc. was founded in 1998 to create a retinal prosthesis to provide sight to patients blinded from outer retinal degenerations such as RP. Second Sight's mission is to develop, manufacture, and market innovative implantable visual prosthetics to enable blind individuals to achieve greater independence. A trial with the Argus II retinal prosthesis is currently underway to test the safety and efficacy of the Argus II in patients with Dry AMD. Second Sight is also developing the OrionTM cortical prosthesis to restore some vision to individuals who are blind due to causes other than preventable or treatable conditions. The population of legally blind people potentially eligible for the future Orion cortical prosthesis in Italy is about 175,000 and 6 million worldwide. The company’s headquarters are in Sylmar, California, and its European Headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland. For more information, visit www.secondsight.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended that are intended to be covered by the “safe harbor” created by those sections. All statements in this release that are not based on historical fact are “forward looking statements”. While management has based any forward looking statements included in this release on its current expectations, the information on which such expectations were based may change. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements, as a result of various factors including those risks and uncertainties described in the Risk Factors and in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations sections contained within our final prospectus filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on November 20, 2014. We urge you to consider those risks and uncertainties in evaluating our forward-looking statements. We caution readers not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. Except as otherwise required by the federal securities laws, we disclaim any obligation or undertaking to publicly release any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein (or elsewhere) to reflect any change in our expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.