Second Sight Medical Products Inc. has successfully implanted its Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System in its first patient in Asia via an exclusive distribution deal with Taiwanese pharmaceutical company Orient Europharma Co. Ltd. as well as a donation from the Hong-Lu Foundation in Taiwan.
The news initially sent its stock price up as high as 20 percent on Thursday, reaching $1.39 from its Wednesday closing price of $1.16.
The Sylmar company that produces medical devices to restore vision for the blind was able to bring its technology to the Asian island through special import permits greenlighted by the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration.
The Argus II system utilizes an implant and camera mounted on a pair of eyeglasses, providing limited vision to patients with retinitis pigmentosa – an eye disease in which the back wall of the retina is damaged, causing blindness.
The surgery was performed on a 40-year-old blind patient with retinal degeneration by Dr. Yih-Shiou Hwang and a team at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Linkou, Taiwan with supervision from Dr. Paulo Stanga from U.K.-based Manchester Royal Eye Hospital.
“We are very pleased to expand the availability of the Argus II to Asia as we continue to offer our technology to patients with retinitis pigmentosa, providing them with the potential opportunity to lead more independent lives,” Second Sight Chief Executive Will McGuire said in a statement.
Second Sight (EYES) shares closed up 10 cents, or 8.6 percent, to $1.26 on the Nasdaq.