Second Sight Announces Strategy Shift to Stem Losses

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LOS ANGELES—Faced with flat sales and continuing net losses, Second Sight Medical Products (NASDAQ:EYES) announced plans to suspend new production of its Argus II artificial retina systems and accelerate development of the Orion Visual Cortical Prosthesis System, a promising new technology that may restore some sight to the blind. For the three months ended March 31, 2019, Second Sight yesterday reported net sales on a GAAP basis of $1.1 million compared to $1.0 million in the first quarter of 2018. Gross profit for the quarter was $0.4 million compared to $0.3 million in the first quarter of 2018.

Net loss for the first quarter of 2019 was $9.7 million compared to a net loss of $9.8 million in the first quarter of 2018. The non-GAAP net loss for the first quarter, excluding certain non-cash items, was $6.4 million compared to a non-GAAP net loss of $8.5 million in the first quarter of 2018.

“Our decision to accelerate development of Orion is based on both the positive interim results of our Early Feasibility Study and on the significant market opportunity we see for this potentially transformative product. We believe it is the right time to reallocate resources toward this more attractive platform, which holds the potential to treat virtually all forms of blindness and extend our leadership position in artificial vision,” said Will McGuire, president and CEO of Second Sight.

McGuire said the company will continue to support existing Argus II users and plans to pursue regulatory approvals for next-generation externals, Argus 2s.