Neuralink, a start-up founded by Elon Musk, announced on Thursday that US regulators had given them permission to test its brain implants on humans. The US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of Neuralink’s first in-human clinical research is an important first step for its chip technology, which aims to enable direct brain-to-computer communication.
Neuralink announced the FDA’s approval to begin its first-in-human clinical study in a tweet, which Musk shared on his account. “We are excited to share that we have received the FDA’s approval to launch our first-in-human clinical study,” the company wrote. Neuralink states that enrollment for a clinical trial is not yet open.
“We’ve been working hard to be ready for our first human (implant), and obviously we want to be extremely careful and certain that it will work well before putting a device in a human,” he stated at the time. In December last year, he said the trial would begin in the next six months.
In 2021, demonstrations by the startup revealed coin-sized product prototypes being implanted in the skulls of monkeys. Several monkeys were displayed “playing” simple video games or navigating a cursor on a screen during the Neuralink presentation by the business. The trial also killed 15 out of 23 monkeys that year.
Musk said earlier that his ultimate goal is to prevent people from becoming cognitively overwhelmed by artificial intelligence technology, which reaches beyond the potential to treat neurological illnesses.