Second Sight Announces Employee Layoffs, Intent to Wind Down Operations and Appointment of Matthew Pfeffer as Acting CEO
Second Sight Medical Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: EYES) (“Second Sight” or the “Company”), a developer, manufacturer and marketer of implantable visual prosthetics that are intended to create an artificial form of useful vision for blind individuals, announced that in response to the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on its ability to secure financing, the Company will lay off approximately 84 of its 108 employees effective March 31, 2020. The impacted employees will be eligible for unemployment benefits subject to local regulations. Against a background of unprecedented economic shock caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and inability to secure additional financing, the Company’s Board of Directors has evaluated strategic alternatives and decided to pursue an orderly wind down of the Company’s operations. The Company intends to retain an adviser experienced in winding down operations to guide the board on next steps. Any wind down activity, if implemented, will be subject to uncertainties. Additional layoffs are expected to be made at a later date based on the Company’s level of operations.
The Company further announced that the Board of Directors appointed Matthew Pfeffer, a member of the Board and Chairman of the Audit Committee of the Board, as acting Chief Executive Officer to guide the Company through the transitional wind down period, instead of Gregg Williams, Chairman of the Board, as was previously announced.
About Second Sight
Second Sight Medical Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: EYES) develops, manufactures and markets implantable visual prosthetics that are intended to deliver useful artificial vision to blind individuals. A recognized global leader in neuromodulation devices for blindness, the Company is committed to developing new technologies to treat the broadest population of sight-impaired individuals. The Company’s headquarters are in Los Angeles, California. More information is available at www.secondsight.com.
About the Orion Visual Cortical Prosthesis System
Leveraging Second Sight’s 20 years of experience in neuromodulation for vision, the Orion Visual Cortical Prosthesis System (Orion) is an implanted cortical stimulation device intended to provide useful artificial vision to individuals who are blind due to a wide range of causes, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, optic nerve injury or disease, and eye injury. Orion is intended to convert images captured by a miniature video camera mounted on glasses into a series of small electrical pulses. The device is designed to bypass diseased or injured eye anatomy and to transmit these electrical pulses wirelessly to an array of electrodes implanted on the surface of the brain’s visual cortex, where it is intended to provide the perception of patterns of light. A six-subject early feasibility study of the Orion is currently underway at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. No peer-reviewed data is available yet for the Orion system.