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Could This Technology ‘Restore Useful Vision’ to Completely Blind Patients?

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Company marks an “exciting and important milestone.”

Second Sight Medical Products Inc. announced that it had successfully implanted and activated a wireless visual cortical stimulator in a human subject.

The company (NASDAQ: EYES) said the implantation provided “the initial human proof of concept” for the development of its Orion I Visual Cortical Prosthesis.

Dr. Robert Greenberg, chairman of the Board of Second Sight, said the procedure was “an exciting and important milestone even though it does not yet include a camera.”

“By bypassing the optic nerve and directly stimulating the visual cortex, the Orion I has the potential to restore useful vision to patients completely blinded due to virtually any reason, including glaucoma, cancer, diabetic retinopathy, or trauma,” he said. “Today these individuals have no available therapy and the Orion I offers hope, increasing independence and improving their quality of life.”

In the UCLA study supported by Second Sight, a 30-year-old patient was implanted with a wireless multichannel neurostimulation system on the visual cortex and was able to perceive and localize individual phosphenes or spots of light with no significant adverse side effects.

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Second Sight plans to submit an application to the FDA in early 2017 to gain approval for conducting an initial clinical trial of the complete Orion I system, including the camera and glasses.

Read the full press release

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