Developer and marketer of implantable visual prosthetics Second Sight Medical Products Inc. (EYES:NASDAQ), which is endeavoring to create an artificial form of useful vision for blind individuals, today announced "two-year results of its Early Feasibility Study (Study) of the Orion Visual Cortical Prosthesis (Orion)."
The company explained that the trial had been paused due to the COVID-19 situation but has since resumed at both the UCLA and Baylor College of Medicine testing centers. The human trial was described as a single arm six subject study of the Orion system. The firm advised that all six patients are still enrolled in the ongoing clinical trial and that "recent visual function and functional vision results continue to demonstrate that a majority of participants benefit from Orion."
Second Sight Medical Products indicated that all five subjects tested after the two-year mark are significantly more capable of locating a white square on a dark computer screen using the Orion System on than without it, and added that four of five participants tested at the two-year mark "are able to better identify the direction of motion of a bar moving across a computer screen with the Orion System on."
The company advised that "the Functional Low-Vision Observer Rated Assessment (FLORA) has only been performed with two subjects due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, but both were rated as receiving mild positive or positive benefit from the Orion in real-world settings."
Second Sight Medical Products' V.P. of Clinical and Scientific Research Jessy Dorn commented, "We are excited to resume the study and see such promising results, especially after all visits were paused for several months due to COVID-19."
"We have learned about the therapeutic potential of Orion from the results of this early feasibility study and feel they support progress toward a larger study," stated Nader Pouratian, a principal investigator on the Orion clinical trial and professor and chair of neurological surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center.
The company explained that "the Orion Visual Cortical Prosthesis System (Orion) is an implanted cortical stimulation device intended to provide useful artificial vision to individuals who are blind due to a wide range of causes, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, optic nerve injury or disease, and eye injury."
Orion is designed to work by converting images from a miniature video camera placed on eyeglasses into small electrical pulses. The device then transmits the electrical pulses wirelessly to a battery of electrodes implanted on the surface of the brain's visual cortex, therefore bypassing the diseased or injured eye. It is at the visual cortex where patterns of light are perceived.
Second Sight Medical Products is actively involved in the development, manufacture and marketing of prosthetic devices designed to restore useful artificial vision to blind individuals. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif., and specializes in creating neuromodulation devices for blindness. The firm noted that its goal is to develop technologies that serve a broad range of individuals with sight-impairment.
The firm is primarily focused on individuals who have lost vision due to retinitis pigmentosa (RP), but also believes there are many other potential applications for other serious eye diseases and injuries including cancer, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, optic nerve injury or disease and trauma.
Second Sight Medical Products began the day with a market cap of around $139.5 million with approximately 27.91 million shares outstanding and a short interest of about 13.8%. EYES shares opened more than 18% higher today at $5.92 (+$0.92, +18.40%) over yesterday's $5.00 closing price. The stock has traded today between $5.53 amd $7.31 per share and is currently trading at $6.25 (+$1.25, +24.99%). [NLINSERT]
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