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Second Sight Wins 2011 World Technology Award

Thu, 10/27/2011 - 11:41am
LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., the worlds leading developer of retinal prostheses for the blind, announced that the company was honored as the 2011 winner of the World Technology Award for Health and Medicine at a gala event to close the 2011 World Technology Summit. This award, presented annually by the World Technology Network in association with TIME, Fortune, CNN, AAAS, and Technology Review, honors those performing innovative work of the greatest long-term significance in science, technology, and related fields. Second Sight earned the award for their Argus® II Retinal Prosthesis System (‘Argus II) which restores partial vision for people blinded by outer retinal degenerations. "It gives me great pleasure to be recognized for an achievement that has been decades in the works," said James Little, Vice President of R&D for Second Sight who accepted the award on behalf of the company, "especially when you consider the quality of the competition we were up against in this category."

Nominees for the 2011 World Technology Awards were selected by the WTN Fellows through an intensive, global process, and included notable companies such as SynCardia Systems, NeuroPace, and others in the health and medicine category.

In addition to the award, and on the heels of being awarded US patent number 8 million by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) last month, the company announced that the USPTO has also granted the companys 100th US patent for technology related to Argus II. Patent number 8,046,078 further enriches an extremely strong intellectual property portfolio.

Argus II is Second Sights less invasive second generation implantable device intended to treat blind people suffering from degenerative diseases of the outer retina such as Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). The system works by converting video images captured by a miniature camera, housed in the patients glasses, into a series of small electrical pulses that are transmitted wirelessly to an array of electrodes on the surface of the retina (epi-retinal). These pulses are intended to stimulate the retinas remaining cells resulting in the corresponding perception of patterns of light in the brain. Patients can learn to interpret these visual patterns thereby gaining some functional vision. The system was tested in a multi-center international clinical trial that began in 2007. Earlier this year, the company announced that based on the results of this trial, Argus II had received the CE mark, making it the only such device approved for sale in the world.

Robert J Greenberg, MD, PhD, President and CEO of Second Sight, added, "This has been a terrific year for the company marked by a number of significant achievements. We have received marketing clearance in Europe and reimbursement in some European countries as well. We have had our manufacturing facility ISO certified and achieved significant intellectual property milestones. It is great for these recent accomplishments to be recognized by this WTA award. And there will be more exciting news to come in the near future."

Second Sight Medical Products, Inc., located in Los Angeles, California, was founded in 1998 to create a retinal prosthesis to provide sight to patients blinded from outer retinal degenerations, such as Retinitis Pigmentosa. Through dedication and innovation, Second Sight's mission is to develop, manufacture and market implantable visual prosthetics to enable blind individuals to achieve greater independence. Argus II is not yet approved for sale in the United States. European Headquarters are in Lausanne, Switzerland. Second Sight and Argus are registered trademarks and the Second Sight logo is a trademark of Second Sight Medical Products, Inc. Argus II is not approved for commercial use in the United States; it is being used in clinical trials under an FDA-approved Investigational Device Exemption (IDE).

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