Second Sight Medical Products, which became the first company in the world to commercialize a bionic eye, has filed for a $31.5 million initial public offering.
In a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, the Sylmar, California, device maker said that it plans to issue 3.5 million shares at the price of $9, which totals to an offering price of $31.5 million.
In an interview last year, CEO Robert Greenberg said that an IPO was a distinct possibility for the future of the company. That's because with the FDA approval, Second Sight had succeeded in creating the world’s smallest neurostimulator with the highest number of electrodes—60—and there could be other potential applications of the technology. For example, neurostimulators are currently being explored to treat a range of conditions that include Parkinson’s, chronic pain, and obesity. An IPO would provide financing to expand the applications of Second Sight’s technology.
The Argus II allows people suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative disease that slowly robs people of their sight, to undergo a procedure for an implantable device that allows them to see in black, white, and shades of gray. The technology's roots go back to 1991 and an experiment conducted at Johns Hopkins where Greenberg was a graduate student. The Argus II retinal prostheses system comprises a retinal implant, a video processing unit, cable and glasses.
Last year, the company co-founded by serial entrepreneur Al Mann, had revenue of $1.56 million and a loss of $22 million. In February 2013 the company's Argus II retinal prostheses system was approved by the FDA. That came after an FDA panel unanimously voted that the device be approved in September.
Throughout Second Sight's history the company has raised about $100 million from private investors such as Mann and other high-net-worth individuals as well as California venture capital firm Versant Ventures.
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