Elon Musk’s futuristic brain chip startup Neuralink has received federal approval for its first-in-human clinical trial, marking a major milestone for the company with huge ambitions.
The company announced the Food and Drug Administration approval on Thursday, saying in a tweet that it “represents an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people.”
We are thrilled to share that we have received FDA approval to initiate our first human clinical study!
This is the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team working closely with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our…
—Neuralink (@neuralink) May 25, 2023
Musk touted Neuralink’s technology as potentially helping people with paralysis. The technology involves implanting tiny chips in people’s skulls to relay electrical signals from the brain to a computer.
Neuralink did not disclose the nature of the FDA approval or when a clinical trial would begin. It simply said: “Recruitment is not yet open for our clinical trial. We will announce more information about this soon!
Neuralink is catching up with its competitors. A rival company, Synchron, had received approval for a similar trial in 2021.
Musk unveiled Neuralink to the public at a livestreamed event in 2020 where he showed pigs that had brain chip implants walking on a treadmill and snooping around in a pen. He showed data collected wirelessly from the chips representing the firing of pigs’ neurons and how the information could be used to predict the position of the pig’s joints.
But behind the scenes, Musk’s company has been stymied by disagreements and executive departures, according to earlier reports. Fortune reports.