According to four sources with firsthand knowledge of the situation, Elon Musk has approached brain chip implant firm Synchron Inc about a potential investment as his own business Neuralink tries to catch up in the race to connect the human brain to technology.
Dealing with the Neuralink Delays
Based on the sources, Musk recently contacted Thomas Oxley, the founder, and CEO of Synchron, to discuss a prospective merger. It’s unclear whether any transaction would entail a partnership or tie-up between Synchron and Neuralink. According to the sources, Synchron, which has its headquarters in the Brooklyn neighborhood of New York City, is in the lead when it comes to obtaining regulatory approval for its products.
According to the sources, it hasn’t been decided if it would take an investment and no deal is guaranteed. The sources asked to remain anonymous because the information is private. Requests for a response from Musk and Neuralink representatives went unanswered. A spokeswoman for Synchron declined to comment.
The move was made after Musk, who also serves as the CEO of the electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Inc. and the rocket development company SpaceX, complained to Neuralink staff members about their poor advancement, according to four current and former employees. Two of the sources also said that when Musk contacted Oxley, he did not express his frustration to him.
The status of Neuralink’s application to the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to start human trials is unclear. An FDA spokeswoman did not immediately answer a request for comment.
Neuralink, which Musk founded in 2016, aims to get regulatory approval by the end of 2020, Musk stated in a 2019 public presentation. Then, in late 2021, he declared at a Wall Street Journal conference that he hoped to begin human trials this year.
Synchron and Elon
Synchron, a 2016 startup, has created a brain implant that, unlike Neuralink’s, can be installed without drilling a hole in the skull. Its objective is to enable individuals with paralysis to control digital gadgets solely with their minds.
By successfully implanting its technology in a patient in the United States for the first time last month, Synchron achieved a significant milestone. In 2021, the FDA approved it for use in human trials, and studies in four Australians have been completed.
As per market research firm Pitchbook, Synchron has roughly 60 workers and has raised about $65 million from investors. With 300 people divided between San Francisco and Austin, Texas, Neuralink is bigger. As of now, $363 million has been raised from investors, according to Pitchbook.
Read: How did Norway become Insanely Economical Rich Country in this era how era?