The name of Elon Musk is linked to the successes of SpaceX and Tesla. However, not all of the entrepreneur’s businesses are equally successful. The futuristic adventure represented by Neuralink, for example, launched in 2016, is dragging on – especially since the initiative is not necessarily getting good press at the moment.
Not only has Neuralink still not started human clinical trials, but demonstrations of the technology on monkeys are failing to convince everyone. Not to mention those who fight against animal suffering. It seems that the entrepreneur is increasingly frustrated with the situation and is now also looking at what is happening elsewhere.
Neuralink: what game is Elon Musk playing?
So according to Reuters (via Engadget), Elon Musk has approached those responsible for Neuralink’s main competitor Synchron, with a proposal. We could have thought of a takeover, allowing the field to be left open to Neuralink. But according to information from Reuters, the entrepreneur actually offered to simply invest in the business.
Full details of the offer are unknown. We do not know (yet?) for example if it is a proposal for collaboration, or a more classic investment. None of the parties want to provide any specifics at this time – and it is not known if the offer will really lead to anything.
According to indiscretions taken up by Engadget, Elon Musk would have presented the agreement to Synchron after anger against Neuralink. The company’s progress is not fast enough for his liking. Neuralink had indeed announced in 2019 its intention to conduct clinical tests from 2020.
But the competent American authority, the FDA, has to date still not given the green light. Opposite, Synchron announced last July a great first: the firm has indeed succeeded in implanting, for the first time, a brain machine interface in the motor cortex of an American patient.
Synchron, for its part, has all the approvals of the FDA to continue its tests. Doctors from Mount Sinai West Hospital in New York are responsible for evaluating the clinical trial. Synchron has also just completed a trial in Australia, concluding, in the case of four patients, that the implant remains safe for at least one year after the intervention.
It should be noted that Synchron has in parallel recruited in 2021 the co-founder of Neuralink Max Hodak who would advise Neuralink executives. However, it is difficult at this stage to determine what the discussions between the entrepreneur and Synchron will actually lead to. We note that Elon Musk had already approached other competitors in the sector such as Paradromics in 2020… discussions that ultimately did not lead to anything concrete.