Second Sight Medical Products Inc (NASDAQ:EYES), a developer, manufacturer and marketer of implantable visual prosthetics that restore some useful vision to blind patients, today announced the first implant and successful activation of the Argus® II Retinal Prosthesis System (Argus II) in a dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patient.
The implant is part of a feasibility study which aims to evaluate the safety and utility of the Argus II System in individuals with late-stage Dry AMD, a condition that severely affects their central vision. The implant was performed at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital in the United Kingdom by Dr. Paulo Stanga MD, Consultant Ophthalmologist & Vitreoretinal Surgeon at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, Professor of Ophthalmology and Retinal Degeneration at The University of Manchester. The device was activated approximately two weeks after implantation, and initial reports confirm that the subject is receiving some useful vision from the Argus II system. The Argus II has already been tested and approved in the United States and Europe for individuals with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) and Outer Retinal Degeneration, respectively.
“The difference between RP and Dry AMD is that RP primarily affects the peripheral vision whereas AMD primarily affects the central vision. Retinal implants for individuals with AMD may restore some useful vision in their central visual field, which is non-functional due to degeneration of the photoreceptors. The goal in restoring this central vision is to provide individuals with AMD more natural vision and ultimately improve their independence and quality of life,” says Dr. Paulo Stanga, MD. “This is totally groundbreaking research, where positive results from the study could provide advanced Dry AMD patients with a new alternative treatment.”
Eligibility for this study includes patients 25 to 85 years of age with advanced dry AMD, some residual light perception, and a previous history of useful form vision. Study subjects will be followed for three years to evaluate safety and utility of the Argus II system on visual function. Pending positive study results, the Company plans to conduct a larger study to support market approvals. It is estimated that two million individuals worldwide are legally blind due to AMD and 375,000 people are blinded by RP.
Second Sight Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Robert Greenberg, said, “We are very excited to begin such an important study for this patient population and to have the opportunity to help a great deal more people living with blindness. Though it is obviously still early in this clinical trial, we are very encouraged by these initial results.”
Recently, a story about the first AMD patient to receive the Argus II appeared on a BBC News broadcast throughout the United Kingdom generating much interest in the technology. A link to the story can be found on http://www.bbc.com/news/health-33612558.
The launch of this study is another step toward Second Sight’s mission to enable blind people to achieve greater independence. Earlier this year, the first Orion™ I Visual Cortical Prostheses were implanted in animals to evaluate fit, form, stability, and biocompatibility. Human trials for the Orion I are planned to commence by Q1 2017. If successful, the Orion I has the potential to address nearly all forms of blindness. (Original Source)
Shares of Second Sight Medical Products closed yesterday at $13.48. 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 $14.35 and its 200-day moving average is $12.65.
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 implies an upside of 55.8% from current levels. According to TipRanks.com, Dayal has a total average return of -28.0%, a 9.1% success rate, and is ranked #3640 out of 3711 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.