OCT 26, 2016
Second Sight yesterday announced the successful implantation of a wireless visual cortical stimulator in a 30-year-old blind patient, providing initial human proof of concept for the ongoing development of the company's Orion I Visual Cortical Prosthesis (Orion I).
The company says the patient could perceive and localize individual spots of light with no significant adverse side effects.
Unlike Second Sight's Argus II System, which provides electrical stimulation that bypasses defunct retinal cells and stimulates remaining viable cells to induce visual perception, the Orion I bypasses the optic nerve and directly stimulates the visual cortex, potentially restoring useful vision to patients completely blinded due to virtually any reason, including glaucoma, cancer, diabetic retinopathy or trauma.
"It is rare that technological development offers such stirring possibilities. This 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. This initial success in a patient is an exciting and important milestone even though it does not yet include a camera,” said Dr. Robert Greenberg, Chairman of the Board of Second Sight.
The company expects to submit an application to the FDA in early 2017 for approval of an initial clinical trial of the complete Orion I system, including glasses and a camera.