Elon Musk’s Neuralink Might Start Clinical Trials With Humans in Six Months
in April 2017, Musk said Neuralink aims to make devices to treat serious brain diseases in the short term, and the ultimate goal is human enhancement.
Neuralink, an American brain chip production company, will likely launch clinical trials in humans in six months, the head of the company, Elon Musk, has announced.
"We wanna be extremely careful and certain, that it will work well, before putting a device in a human," Musk said during the Neuralink Show and Tell, Fall 2022. "We've submitted, I think, most of our paperworks to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). We think, probably, in about six months we should be able to have our first neurolink in a human."
The company has been developing a biochip capable of transmitting brain signals. This will make it possible to control electronic devices directly, using only brain impulses. The main task of Neuralink is to help people, primarily those who suffer from neurological diseases. According to Musk, the chip will make it possible to control hormones, restore motor functions and treat blindness.
According to information provided during the Q&A section, issues of heating and device-brain compatibility were among the FDA's biggest concerns. To resolve those, the Neuralink team had to redesign some core elements of the chip's structure. In July 2020, Neuralink was granted innovative product status by the FDA.
21 January 2022, 12:55 GMT
Neuralink was co-founded in 2016 by Elon Musk, Max Hodak and Paul Merolla, who then hired the first group of several experts in various areas. As of January 2022, however, only two of the eight "cofounders" remained at the company.
Some of the company’s critics have stated that Neuralink's promises are overstated. Neuralink's apologists, in turn, have argued that although some things demonstrated by Neuralink have already been accomplished in academic settings, and Musk brought attention and investment into the neuro start-ups.
However, in February, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), an organization of more than 17,000 physicians, filed a lawsuit against the University of California, Davis, whose labs Neuralink employees used from 2017-2020 for their animal experiments. The lawsuit says test animals "suffered infections from the implanted electrodes placed in their brains" and an experimental substance known as BioGlue "killed monkeys by destroying portions of their brains." The university received $1.4 million from Musk for the rental of its facilities.
The University sent the Committee laboratory notes detailing eight experiments involving monkeys that had been implanted with electrodes. Cases of monkeys "repeatedly vomiting, choking, and having little interaction with his environment/observers" after surgery and "having a bloody head... dried blood around the base of the cranial implant" were listed.