Second Sight Medical Products Inc. on Monday announced it will lay off 84 of its 108 employees effective March 31 in response to COVID-19 challenges, the first step toward the end of the Sylmar company.

“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,” Second Sight said in a statement.

In addition, the visual prosthetics company named Matthew Pfeffer as new acting chief executive. Pfeffer, a Second Sight board member and chairman of the audit committee, replaces Gregg Williams, who was appointed interim chief executive on March 13 when longtime leader Will McGuire announced his departure from the company.

Williams remains chairman of the board.

Additional layoffs are expected at a later date, and an adviser will be brought in to help the company wind down operations.

Shares of Second Sight (EYES) closed Monday down $1.17, or nearly 51 percent, to $1.14 on the Nasdaq.