It is fair to say that efforts to develop bionic eye implants – retinal neuromodulators intended to help blind people see – have disappointed. Both the companies active here, France’s Pixium Vision and the US group Second Sight, have seen their valuations slide markedly since they each floated in 2014. With little interest in their technologies from larger players, today’s merger between the two was probably the best outcome either could have hoped for. Pixium is to contribute all its assets and liabilities related to its neuromodulation technology used to treat blindness to Second Sight, after which Pixium will become the controlling shareholder of the combined company, owning 60% of the total equity. The new company will focus on the development of Prima, the system that has so far been developed by Pixium. This is in a pivotal European trial in patients with dry age-related macular degeneration. Second Sight’s development-stage system, Orion, will become the responsibility of a new subsidiary. The size of the deal was not spelled out, but it will be small: Pixium and Second sight have market caps of just €59m ($73m) and $52m respectively.