In six months, human clinical trials for a wireless gadget built by Elon Musk’s Neuralink firm are anticipated to start.
The company is working on brain chip interfaces that, according to its claims, might help crippled people move and speak once again. Neuralink, a company with offices in Austin, Texas, and the San Francisco Bay Area, has recently been testing its products on animals while waiting for regulatory approval from the US to start human clinical trials.
“We want to be extremely careful and certain that it will work well before putting a device into a human but we’ve submitted I think most of our paperwork to the FDA and probably in about six months we should be able to upload Neuralink in a human,” During a eagerly anticipated public update on the product, Musk said.
Musk cancelled the event just a few days before it was scheduled for October 31 without providing a reason.
More than a year ago, Neuralink showed a monkey with a brain chip using only its thoughts to play a computer game.
Musk is renowned for his ambitious plans to save humanity and colonise Mars. The same lofty goals are held for Neuralink, which he founded in 2016. He intends to create a chip that would enable the brain to control intricate electronic equipment, eventually restoring motor function to paralysed persons and treating disorders of the brain including Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s. He also discusses combining artificial intelligence with the brain.
However, Neuralink is behind schedule. Musk said in a 2019 presentation that he was aiming for regulatory approval by the end of 2020. He then said at a conference in late 2021 that he hopes to begin human trials this year.Neuralink has repeatedly failed to meet deadlines to get US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval for get the start of human trials, current and former collaborators said. Musk approached competitor Synchron earlier this year about a possible investment in after expressing frustration to Neuralink employees at their slow progress, Reuters reported in August.Synchron achieved an important milestone in July with the first implantation of its device in a patient in the United States. Received US government regulatory approval for human studies in 2021 and completed four-person studies in Australia.