Implantable visual prosthetics maker Second Sight Medical Products, announced that in response to the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic on its ability to secure financing, the company decided to pursue an orderly wind down of the company’s operations. The company will lay off approximately 84 of its 108 employees effective March 31, 2020.
“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,” according to a company news release. “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.”
Second Sight 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.
Second Sight is the maker of the Orion Visual Cortical Prosthesis System, 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.