Neuralink is Elon Musk’s brain-machine interface company, created in 2017 with the aim of developing a brain implant project. The latter is a coin-like device with an electrode attached to several thin, flexible wires. But for now, the company has been content to test its brain implant in pigs and monkeys. Neuralink has never performed clinical trials on a human being.
Recently, Neuralink posted a new job posting in which the company is looking for a Director of Clinical Trials. We can therefore assume that the company plans to test its brain implant on humans.
Neuralink hires clinical trials director to fulfill Musk’s ambitions
Indeed, Neuralink is looking for a director of clinical trials. Bloomberg also reported that the job posting specifies that the person holding the position will be expected to collaborate with early participants in clinical trials. This recruiting process meets Musk’s goal of implanting devices in humans starting this year.
Moreover, Musk’s plan is to use this implant to solve various neurological problems. But to achieve this goal, Neuralink will need to obtain approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to use these devices for medical use. For this, it must pass successful clinical trials on human subjects.
How does the clinical trial process work?
In order to proceed with larger clinical trials, the company will need to obtain FDA clearance because the use of these devices poses a high risk, especially since it has never been used on human subjects. Also, the terms of employment specify that the Director of Clinical Trials will be responsible for interactions with regulatory agencies such as the FDA. But before starting trials, a feasibility study is essential to get a first glimpse of how the device could work in humans.
Apparently, the person who will take on the position of Director of Clinical Trials will also need to be able to work in a chaotic environment marked by pressure to advance scientific progress under very tight deadlines. They should also manage the missed deadlines that Musk continues to promise and his publicly stated ambitions, which far exceed what scientists say are reasonable expectations for brain-computer interfaces. In short, although all this information was not mentioned in the job description, applicants are informed that they will have to work under pressure.