Second Sight Jumps on Progress With Prosthetics Test

Second Sight says an early feasibility study of its visual prosthetics system shows 'promising' results.
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Shares of Second Sight Medical Products  (EYES) - Get Report, a developer of technology to help the visually impaired, jumped on Wednesday after the company reported progress with its Orion Visual Cortical Prosthesis.

The Sylmar, Calif., company's shares at last check were 22% higher at $6.09.

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Second Sight said in a statement that five out of five patients in a study were able to locate a white square on a dark computer screen “significantly better” with the Orion System.

Four of five were able to better identify the direction of motion of a bar moving across a computer screen. One patient experienced a serious adverse event that didn’t require hospitalization.

The early feasibility study, conducted at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, had been paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but has now resumed at both centers.

No peer-reviewed data are yet available for the Orion system.

Jessy Dorn, vice president of clinical and scientific research at Second Sight, called the results "promising."

Orion is an implanted cortical stimulation device intended to provide artificial vision to individuals who are blind due to a wide range of causes, the company said. These disorders include glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, optic-nerve injury or disease, and eye injury.

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In the Orion system, a miniature video camera mounted on glasses captures images and converts them into a series of small electrical pulses.

The device is designed to bypass diseased or injured eye anatomy and to transmit these electrical pulses wirelessly to an array of electrodes implanted on the surface of the brain’s visual cortex. There, the device is designed to provide the perception of patterns of light, Second Sight said.

Second Sight shares fell in March after the company unveiled a $27.9 million private placement of common stock.

In the same month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the company's treatment of retinitis pigmentosa for marketing.