Elon Musk’s futuristic brain-chip startup Neuralink has received federal approval for its first human clinical trial, a major milestone for a company with big ambitions.
The company announced the approval by the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday, saying in a tweet that “this is an important first step in enabling our technology to one day help many people.”
We are pleased to share that we have received FDA clearance to begin our first human clinical study.
This is the result of great work by the Neuralink team working closely with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day make our lives possible.
— Neuralink (@neuralink) May 25, 2023
Musk pitched Neuralink’s technology as having the potential to help people suffering from paralysis. The technology involves implanting a tiny chip inside a person’s skull that relays electrical signals from the brain to a computer.
Neuralink did not disclose the details of the FDA approval or when clinical trials will begin. However, “The clinical trial recruitment has not started yet. We will announce more details about this soon!”
Neuralink is catching up to its competitors. Rival Syncron had also obtained approval for a similar trial in 2021.
Musk unveiled Neuralink to the public in a flashy livestream in 2020, in which he showed pigs with brain chips walking on treadmills and snorting in pens. He showed off wirelessly collected data from a chip representing the firing of neurons in pigs and how that information could be used to predict the position of a pig’s joints.
But earlier reports say behind the scenes, Musk’s company has been bogged down by disagreements and executive resignations. luck report.