Vandeputte is an international sales and marketing executive with commercial experience in high-tech medical devices, including senior positions with TriVascular Inc., Aptus Endosystems, EBR Systems Inc., Oxford Immuniotech, Sorin Group, and Guidant. He also has a track record of launching innovative technologies with a focus on driving adoption, and managing and building new businesses throughout the European Union. He will report directly to Second Sight President and CEO Will McGuire.
In addition, Gregoire Cosendai has been appointed as vice president, Clinical Affairs. Cosendai will direct all clinical activities including feasibility and pivotal trials for the Orion Cortical Visual Prosthesis System (Orion), as well as clinical trials designed to expand the population of patients treatable by the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System to include retinitis pigmentosa (RP) patients with better vision. Cosendai was formerly vice president of European Operations for the company. He will continue to report to McGuire.
“Frank joins us with more than 30 years of sales and marketing experience in medical devices. His leadership and commercialization experience, coupled with our strong team in Europe, will position us for continued success outside of the U.S. and Canada,” said McGuire. “I’m also very pleased that Greg has assumed a new position leading our clinical affairs team. His first priority is the initiation of the Orion feasibility trial followed by the planning and execution of a pivotal trial. Orion is an exciting technology that can potentially restore useful vision to millions of patients who today have no option.”
Second Sight, the manufacturer of the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System (Argus II), has developed a new device, the Orion. A proof-of-concept clinical trial demonstrating the viability of stimulation of the human visual cortex with a commercially available device from a different manufacturer began in Q4 2016 at UCLA. First-in-human clinical studies with the Orion are planned in 2017. Like the Argus II, the idea behind Second Sight’s Orion is to convert images captured by a miniature video camera mounted on the patient's glasses into a series of small electrical pulses. The Orion is designed to transmit these electrical pulses wirelessly to an array of electrodes implanted on the surface of the visual cortex, intended to result in the perception of patterns of light. By bypassing the retina and optic nerve and directly stimulating the visual cortex, a cortical prosthesis system has the potential to restore useful vision to patients completely blinded due to many reasons, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, or forms of cancer and trauma. No clinical data is yet available for the Orion.
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 stimulate the retina's remaining cells, intending to result in the perception of patterns of light in the brain. The patient must learn to interpret these visual patterns, having the potential to regain some visual function. The Argus II was the first artificial retina to receive widespread commercial approval, and is offered at approved centers in Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Second Sight develops, manufactures and markets implantable visual prosthetics to enable blind individuals to achieve greater independence. Second Sight has developed, and now manufactures and markets, the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System. Enrollment has been completed in a feasibility trial to test the safety and utility of the Argus II in individuals with dry age-related macular degeneration. Second Sight is also developing the Orion Visual Cortical Prosthesis to restore some vision to individuals who are blind due to causes other than preventable or treatable conditions. The company's U.S. headquarters is in Sylmar, Calif., and its European headquarters is in Lausanne, Switzerland.