Second Sight Medical Products has resumed its early feasibility study for the Orion, its next-generation visual prosthetics system, after being put on hold for seven months because of COVID-19.
The study started back up at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Westwood this week, the Sylmar medical device company said Tuesday. Additional participants will report to Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine soon, Second Sight added, also as part of the feasibility study.
The first human was implanted with the Orion Visual Cortical Prosthesis System in January 2018; there are six subjects currently involved in the study, the company said in a statement.
The announcement is the latest in conflicting updates for the 22-year-old company, launched by late billionaire inventor Alfred Mann. The struggling biotech company saw the departure of longtime chief executive Will McGuire in early March, only to be replaced twice with interim leaders — most recently Matthew Pfeffer, who also is a former chief executive of another Mann company, MannKind Corp.
At the end of that same month, Second Sight announced wind-down operations, laying off 84 employees, only to introduce a public offering of 7.5 million shares in May to fund a possible partnership, business combination, acquisition or investment in other businesses.
The company has since brought back a half dozen of its employees, Pfeffer said.
Shares of Second Sight (EYES) closed Wednesday at 83 cents on the Nasdaq. Since March, company shares have dropped $3.64, or 81 percent.