Elon Musk’s company Neuralink gets permission to implant brain chips in humans; see details of clinical trial.
Neuralink, a brain-chip startup founded by billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, has obtained permission to kick off its first human trial. The focus of the clinical study will be on patients suffering from paralysis caused by cervical spinal cord injuries or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The announcement came on September 19 although the specific number of participants remains undisclosed.
Initially, Neuralink aimed to receive approval for 10 participants, but after safety concerns were raised by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the company found itself negotiating for a smaller participant pool.
However, the final number approved by the FDA has not been confirmed. This latest development comes after Neuralink got the nod for its first-in-human clinical trial in May, a time when it was also under federal investigation for its animal testing practices.
The clinical trial is expected to span approximately six years, paving the way for a comprehensive understanding of the implant’s safety and efficacy. Although some scepticism remains, the venture adds a novel layer to the broader conversation on how technology might be harnessed to solve complex health issues.