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.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which are intended to be covered by the "safe harbor" created by those sections. All statements in this release that are not based on historical fact are "forward looking statements." These statements may be identified by words such as "estimates," "anticipates," "projects," "plans," "strategy," "goal," or "planned," "seeks," "may," "will," "expects," "intends," "believes," "should," and similar expressions, or the negative versions thereof, and which also may be identified by their context. All statements that address operating performance or events or developments that Second Sight expects or anticipates will occur in the future, such as stated objectives or goals, our refinement of strategy, or that are not otherwise historical facts, are forward-looking statements. While management has based any forward-looking statements included in this release on its current expectations, the information on which such expectations were based may change. Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of various factors, including those risks and uncertainties described in or implied by the Risk Factors and in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations sections of our Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed on March 19, 2020 and our other reports filed from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We urge you to consider those risks and uncertainties in evaluating our forward-looking statements. We caution readers not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date made. Except as otherwise required by the federal securities laws, we disclaim any obligation or undertaking to publicly release any updates or revisions to any forward-looking statement contained herein (or elsewhere) to reflect any change in our expectations with regard thereto, or any change in events, conditions, or circumstances on which any such statement is based.
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