U.S. regulators rejected Elon Musk’s bid to test brain chips in humans, citing safety risks
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Reuters
Posted: March 12th, 2023
On at least four occasions since 2019, Elon Musk has predicted that his medical device company, Neuralink, would soon start human trials of a revolutionary brain implant to treat intractable conditions such as paralysis and blindness. Yet the company, founded in 2016, didn’t seek permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) until early 2022 – and the agency rejected the application. Musk has detailed a bold vision for Neuralink: Both disabled and healthy people will pop into neighborhood facilities for speedy surgical insertions of devices with functions ranging from curing obesity, autism, depression or schizophrenia to web-surfing and telepathy. Musk also has said Neuralink would restore full mobility to paralyzed patients. Reuters exclusively reported late last year that the federal government was investigating the company’s treatment of its research animals. The probe was launched amid growing employee concern that the company is rushing experiments, causing additional suffering and deaths of pigs, sheep and monkeys. Musk’s company ... trails at least one direct rival in the race for FDA approval. Synchron, a competitor making a BCI implant, has won the agency’s blessing for human trials. The company first tested its device on four patients in Australia who successfully sent text messages with their minds. Synchron recently raised $75 million, including from funds backed by tech billionaires Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.
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