FDA Approves Second Sight's Argus II Retinal Prosthesis

Posted in Ophthalmology by Camilla Andersson on February 15, 2013

Second Sight Medical, a healthcare products company based in Sylmar, California, announced that it received approval from the United States Food and Drug Administration for its Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System. According to a press release by the company, the Argus II is designed to treat patients suffering from late-stage retinitis pigmentosa.

In the press release, the Second Sight Medical detailed how the Argus II works. The Argus II is a bionic eye that can help restore a patient’s vision. The system comprises a miniature camera that is housed in a specialized set of glasses. The embedded glasses turn an image into a series of electrical pulses that are transmitted to electrodes embedded in a patient’s retina. These pulses are specially designed to stimulate remaining retinal cells in a proprietary pattern. This leads to the perception of light in the brain. Over time, a patient’s brain will interpret these light patterns as normal vision. Patients who have undergone device implantation have been able to regain some of their sight.

Dr. Robert Greenberg is the CEO and president of Second Sight. In prepared remarks, he said, "This is a game changer in sight-affecting diseases, that represents a huge step forward for the field and for these patients who were without any available treatment options until now." He continued, "With this approval, we look forward to building a strong surgical network in the United States and recruiting new hospitals that will offer the Argus II retinal implant."