Elon Musk’s brain implant company Neuralink has approached one of the largest US neurosurgery centers as a potential clinical trial partner as it prepares to test its devices on humans as soon as regulators give the go-ahead to do this, reports the Reuters agency, citing its own sources.
Neuralink has been developing brain implants since 2016, which the company hopes will eventually become cures for intractable conditions like paralysis and blindness.
Early 2022 US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rejected the company’s application for human trials, citing serious safety concerns.
According to sources, Neuralink is in talks with the Barrow Neurological Institute about help in conducting human trials. Neuralink has also discussed partnerships with other centers, the sources added.
It’s worth noting that Neuralink’s efforts come at a time when the company is facing two investigations into its operations.
USDA inspector general investigates potential Neuralink‘s animal rights violations. Current and former employees of the company spoke to Reuters in detail about animal experiments that lead to senseless suffering and death.
Additionally, the US Department of Transportation said it is investigating possible mishandling of dangerous pathogens during the company’s 2018-2020 partnership with UC Davis.
The Neuralink implant is a brain computer interface (BCI) device that uses electrodes that penetrate the brain or are placed on its surface to provide direct communication with a computer. To date, no company has received US approval to market a BCI implant.