Elon Musk's brain-implant startup received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to conduct clinical trials of its experimental device in humans.
"We are excited to share that we have received the FDA's approval to launch our first-in-human clinical study!" Neuralink said Thursday in a tweet.
Neuralink continued, "This is the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people."
We are excited to share that we have received the FDA's approval to launch our first-in-human clinical study! This is the result of incredible work by the Neuralink team in close collaboration with the FDA and represents an important first step that will one day allow our…
-- Neuralink (@neuralink) May 25, 2023
Musk retweeted the post, congratulating Neuralink.
Congratulations Neuralink team! https://t.co/AWZGf33UDr
-- Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 26, 2023
Founded in 2016, Neuralink is developing a small implant chip that will link the brain to a computer, via electrode-laced wires, with hopes it might one day treat paralysis and blindness in humans.
The FDA approval "is really a big deal," Cristin Welle, a former FDA official and an associate professor of neurosurgery and physiology at the University of Colorado, told Bloomberg.
Welle said Neuralink "can initiate human trials, which means they have passed the safety preclinical testing and the bench testing."
Musk has noted the brain chip could allow humankind to keep up with artificial intelligence advances.
Already, Neuralink claimed its brain chip had taught a monkey how to play video games with its mind.
Musk recently said the brain chip "will succeed at solving many brain injury issues--spine injury issues--along the way." And he even said the chip could restore vision in people, even if they're born blind.
Neuralink isn't the first brain-computer interface company to enter clinical trials for humans. For example, Synchron and Blackrock Neurotech have already implanted their brain chips into the heads of people.
"We want to surpass able-bodied human performance with our technology," Neuralink tweeted last month.