“I have enjoyed working with Bob to advance Second Sight’s breakthrough technologies and bring them to market worldwide. Second Sight has benefited from his deep clinical insights and extensive industry and technical knowledge. On behalf of the entire management team, we sincerely appreciate his contributions over the years towards achieving Second Sight’s mission of treating nearly all forms of blindness and wish him well. As we move forward, I am confident that we have the right team in place to execute upon our R&D and clinical programs,” stated Will McGuire, president and CEO of Second Sight.
Second Sight's Argus II System provides electrical stimulation that bypasses defunct retinal cells and stimulates remaining viable cells inducing visual perception in individuals with severe to profound retinitis pigmentosa (RP). 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, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Taiwan, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank Bob for his contributions to Second Sight. I look forward to our ongoing achievements as we transition to the next phase of growth and accelerate our efforts towards the full commercial success of the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System and our revolutionary Orion Cortical Visual Prosthesis System. We remain focused on providing life-changing benefits to our customers with an emphasis on creating long-term value for our shareholders,” Board Chairman Gregg Williams said.
Like the Argus II, the Orion converts 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 many more patients than the Argus II, including patients completely blinded due to many reasons, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, or forms of cancer and trauma. The company has initiated a feasibility study in the United States at two centers: the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. The first-in-human subject was implanted and activated as part of the first-in-human clinical studies with the Orion in 2018. No clinical data is yet available for the Orion.
“I would like to thank the past and current employees of Second Sight, our many partners, most importantly, the patient volunteers, and the investors who have supported our mission to help the blind to once again see,” said Greenberg.
Second Sight's mission is to develop, manufacture and market 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. Development of new hardware and software intended to improve the quality of the vision produced by the Argus system is ongoing. Second Sight is also developing the Orion Visual Cortical Prosthesis to restore some vision to individuals who are blind due to many causes other than preventable or treatable conditions. Second Sight’s U.S. Headquarters are in Los Angeles, Calif., and European headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland.