Second Sight Medical Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: EYES) (“Second Sight” or the “Company”), a developer, manufacturer and marketer of implantable visual prosthetics that are intended to create an artificial form of useful vision to blind individuals, today announced receipt of a $2.4 million, four-year grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop spatial localization and mapping technology (SLAM). A joint collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL), the initiative is intended to speed the integration of SLAM into next generation versions of the Company’s Orion® Visual Cortical Prosthesis System (Orion).
Second Sight and APL will use the NIH grant to capitalize on recent advances in computer vision, including object recognition, depth sensing and SLAM, to augment the existing capabilities of Orion. The goal is to give Orion users the ability to localize objects and navigate salient landmarks in unfamiliar surroundings in real time. APL will take the lead in developing the SLAM technology, while Second Sight will be responsible for its integration and subsequent clinical deployment.
“This grant is a significant milestone that will allow us to greatly enhance the artificial vision experience,” stated Will McGuire, President and CEO of Second Sight. “Imagine having the ability to save and load maps of different environments, like the grocery store, fitness center or doctor’s office, on demand, to help navigate through daily living activities. These types of enhancements could be a real game changer for blind individuals who are seeking to reconnect to the world using our technology.”
This research is supported by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number 1R01EY029741-01A1. The content of this press release is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
About the Orion Visual Cortical Prosthesis System
Leveraging Second Sight’s 20 years of experience in neuromodulation for vision, 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 intended to convert images captured by a miniature video camera mounted on glasses 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, where it is intended to provide the perception of patterns of light. A six-subject early feasibility study of the Orion is currently underway at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. No peer-reviewed data is available yet for the Orion system. The Company anticipates negotiating the clinical and regulatory pathway to commercialization with the FDA as part of the Breakthrough Devices Program.
About Second Sight
Second Sight Medical Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: EYES) develops, manufactures and markets implantable visual prosthetics that are intended to deliver useful artificial vision to blind individuals. A recognized global leader in neuromodulation devices for blindness, the Company is committed to developing new technologies to treat the broadest population of sight-impaired individuals. The Company’s U.S. headquarters are in Los Angeles, California, and European headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland. More information is available at www.secondsight.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which are intended to be covered by the “safe harbor” created by those sections. All statements in this release that are not based on historical fact are “forward looking statements.” These statements may be identified by words such as “estimates,” “anticipates,” “projects,” “plans,” “strategy,” “goal,” or “planned,” “seeks,” “may,” “will,” “expects,” “intends,” “believes,” “should,” and similar expressions, or the negative versions thereof, and which also may be identified by their context. All statements that address operating performance or events or developments that Second Sight expects or anticipates will occur in the future, such as stated objectives or goals, our refinement of strategy, or that are not otherwise historical facts, are forward-looking statements. While management has based any forward-looking statements included in this release on its current expectations, the information on which such expectations were based may change. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those risks and uncertainties described in or implied by the Risk Factors and in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations sections of our Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed on March 19, 2019, our Form 10-Q filed on August 6, 2019, and our other reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We urge you to consider those risks and uncertainties in evaluating our forward-looking statements. We caution readers not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. Except as otherwise required by the federal securities laws, we disclaim any obligation or undertaking to publicly release any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein (or elsewhere) to reflect any change in our expectations with regard thereto, or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which any such statement is based.