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Is Musk’s mind implant firm transferring nearer to human trials? | Science and Expertise Information

Neuralink, Elon Musk’s brain implant company, is hiring a clinical trials director.

Through Bloomberg

Released on January 20, 2022

Elon Musk’s brain implant company Neuralink is now hiring a clinical trials director, an indication that the company’s long-standing goal of implanting chips in human brains is getting closer.

The position of principal investigator would oversee the startup’s long-promised human trials of its medical device, according to the listing. Neuralink’s brain implant — which Musk said is already allowing monkeys to play video games with their minds alone — is said to help treat a variety of neurological disorders, including paralysis.

The job description for the Fremont, California position promises that the candidate will work “closely with some of the most innovative physicians and top engineers” as well as “Neuralink’s early clinical trial participants.” It also notes that the job entails “leading and building the team responsible for enabling Neuralink’s clinical research activities,” as well as complying with regulations.

Last month, Musk told The Wall Street Journal that Neuralink hopes to implant his device in human brains sometime in 2022. The device would be in human skulls by the following year.

The first human test that medical device manufacturers must undergo before they can be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is known as the proof of concept. Next, after a submission, review and approval process with the FDA based on the proof of concept, is a pivotal device test.

It’s not clear exactly where Neuralink is in it. Neuralink and FDA officials did not respond to requests for comment. Generally, device manufacturers hire study leaders early in their interaction with the FDA to help design studies to maximize the chances of FDA approval. Neuralink does not appear to have published human studies on clinicaltrials.gov, but publication there may delay enrollment of the first patients.

Last year, another company working on brain-machine interfaces, Synchron, said the FDA had approved their planned proof of concept. Synchron is currently in the recruitment phase, said a spokeswoman.

Neuralink is also applying for a Fremont-based clinical trials coordinator, as well as several other positions.

To contact the author of this story:
Sarah McBride in San Francisco at smcbride24@bloomberg.net

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