Second Sight Medical Products Inc. on Tuesday announced the first successful human implantation of a wireless visual cortical stimulator – a big step in the ongoing development of its Orion I Visual Cortical Prosthesis.
In the UCLA study, a 30-year-old patient was implanted with the device and was able to see spots of light with no significant side effects. The implant was performed as part of a proof of concept clinical trial to show safety and viability in humans.
“The first human test confirms that we are on the right track with our Orion I program to treat blind patients who cannot benefit from the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis,” Dr. Robert Greenberg, chairman of the board of Second Sight, said in a statement. “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.”
The Sylmar company develops implantable visual prosthetics, like the Argus II and Orion I, to restore vision to the blind. The devices utilize an implant and camera to provide sight. However, the UCLA clinical trial did not utilize a camera.
Shares closed up 49 cents, or 17.3 percent, to $3.33 on the Nasdaq.