The underwriter, MDB Capital Group, elected to pick up 525,000 shares at the IPO’s $9 price – a hefty discount to EYES shares, which were trading at $19.49 apiece today as of about 10:20 a.m. Eastern.
The Nov. 19 IPO saw EYES shares surge past their opening price right out of the gate, surging some 149.4% to a high of $22.45 apiece before closing up 121.9% at $19.97 per share.
CEO Dr. Robert Greenberg told MassDevice.com last week that Sylmar, Calif.-based Second Sight could have the next generation of its "bionic eye" ready for patients as soon as "a couple of years." The current iteration of the device, the Argus II, uses an eyeglass-mounted camera and an electrical stimulator implanted in the eye to convert and wirelessly transmit video images to an electrode array on the surface of the retina. The Argus II won pre-market approval from the FDA in February 2013 for treating patients with late-stage retinitis pigmentosa.
The newer device, dubbed Orion, would bypass the retinal implant for 1 placed directly on the portion of the brain that processes information from the retina, Greenberg told us. That would open the treatment up to nearly all blind patients, excluding only those whose retinal centers have been physically damaged, he said.
"The thought is that we can take the same implant that we have in the retina and place it, with a bigger electrode array, on the surface of the brain. With that we’ll be able to treat patients whose optic nerve has been damaged," he told us. "The only ones we wouldn’t be able to treat would be someone who had a stroke that damaged that part of their brain tissue. We think we can be in patients within a couple years with that device."