Wed, 29 Nov 2023

Musk's brain implant company Neuralink seeking human trials

Robert Besser
31 Mar 2023, 02:07 GMT+10

FREMONT, California: Neuralink, Elon Musk's brain implant company, has approached the Barrow Neurological Institute, one of the largest US neurosurgery centers, as a potential partner for human clinical trials.

The potential agreement is aimed at preparing the company to test its devices on humans, after it attains regulatory approval.

Since 2016, Neuralink has been developing brain implants that it hopes will eventually cure intractable conditions, such as paralysis and blindness.

However, in 2022 its plans were dealt a blow when the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rejected its application to progress to human trials.

Neuralink and Phoenix, Arizona-based neurological disease treatment and research organization Barrow have been in talks to potentially carry out joint human trials, Reuters reported.

Neuralink has also discussed partnering with other centers.

Despite declining to comment on the possible partnership, Francisco Ponce, director of Barrow's Center for Neuromodulation and Neurosurgery Residency Program, said that because of its long track record in the field, Barrow was well-positioned to conduct such implant research.

"Barrow has helped standardize brain implant surgeries in which the patient can remain asleep, a key step in making it more acceptable to a broad set of the population," he added.

This is in line with Musk's vision for Neuralink's brain chips.

Neuralink's implant is a brain computer interface (BCI) device, which provides direct communication from the brain to computers.

Currently, no company has received US approval to release a BCI implant.

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