Second Sight Medical Products Inc (NASDAQ:EYES), a developer, manufacturer and marketer of implantable visual prosthetics to provide some useful vision to blind patients, today announced the first commercial implants of the Argus® II Retinal Prosthesis System (“Argus II”) have been performed in Austria and Turkey, and the first implant in Spain through a distribution agreement with IMEX has been performed. IMEX is the largest distributor of ophthalmic products in Spain.
In Vienna, Austria, Professor Susanne Binder, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Retinology and Biomicroscopic Laser Surgery, Rudolfstiftung Hospital implanted the device in a 54-year-old patient who was previously completely blind for over 25 years from retinitis pigmentosa (RP). In Austria, there are an estimated 3,100 people living with RP.
In Turkey, the Argus II was implanted in a 44-year-old patient at the Dünyagöz Hospitals Group under the direction of Prof. Dr. Ioannis Pallikaris. It is estimated that of Turkey’s 76 million people, approximately 28,000 people are living with RP.
“We are pleased to see the expanded availability of the Argus II in Austria and Turkey and look forward to the next steps of working with the respective governments on national reimbursement,” said Dr. Robert Greenberg, Chief Executive Officer of Second Sight. “The availability of the Argus II in these additional countries will provide patients with RP the chance to lead more independent lives, which can be life changing for these individuals.”
The recent implant in Spain, under a distribution agreement with IMEX, was performed by Dr. Carlos Laborda of the Arruzafa Clinic in Cordoba, Spain. To accommodate demand for the Argus II, IMEX plans to increase staffing and provide dedicated clinical support.
“Our exclusive distribution agreement with IMEX allows us to provide access to the Argus II to the estimated 17,000 individuals in Spain with RP. We look forward to leveraging IMEX’s unmatched reach within the ophthalmology communities on the Iberian Peninsula to reach individuals with outer retinal degeneration,” added Dr. Robert Greenberg.
RP is an inherited disease that causes degeneration of the photoreceptor cells, which are critical for discerning visual stimuli. Patients with RP initially experience a loss of peripheral vision and the ability to see in dimly lit situations; over time, vision becomes increasingly impaired, leading to an experience of “tunnel vision” before progressing to complete blindness in most cases.
The Argus II implant system, the first approved retinal implant in the world, has been implanted in over 130 individuals worldwide. The system induces visual perception in blind individuals by providing electrical pulses to stimulate the retina’s remaining cells, which is intended to result 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. (Original Source)
Shares of Second Sight Medical Products closed yesterday at $14.37 . EYES has a 1-year high of $24.02 and a 1-year low of $8.05. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $14.29 and its 200-day moving average is $12.53.
On the ratings front, Rodman & Renshaw analyst Amit Dayal initiated coverage with a Buy rating on EYES and a price target of $21, in a report issued on July 6. The current price target represents a potential upside of 46.1% from where the stock is currently trading. According to TipRanks.com, Dayal has a total average return of -26.6%, a 18.2% success rate, and is ranked #3638 out of 3708 analysts.
Second Sight Medical Products Inc develops, manufactures and markets implantable prosthetic devices that can restore some functional vision to patients blinded by outer retinal degenerations, such as Retinitis Pigmentosa.