Biotech firm associated with Tesla Inc chief executive Elon Musk secured strategic funding from Founders Fund to pursue its brain-computer interface. Neuralink concluded its Series D funding round that attracted the Founders Fund.
Musk’s Biotechnology Firm Attracts Founders Fund in Series D Round
The biotechnology firm disclosed in the Monday, August 7 tweet lauding the input of Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund. The round realized $280 million in its quest to assist human patients. Founders Fund partner Scott Nolan issued a subsequent tweet acknowledging the seven-year journey. He indicated that the seven-year input is evident in the technical breakthroughs that seem like science fiction.
The California-based Neuralink traces its origin to 2016 when Elon Musk teamed up with others to initiate the project to develop implantable brain-computer interfaces (BCIs). The BCIs target facilitating direct communication involving the brain and externally located devices such as computers.
The involvement of the Founders Fund in Neuralink reignites its active investment undertaken in other projects led by Elon Musk, such as The Boring Company and Space X.
Neuralink Set to Advance Delivery of Facilitative Products to Overcome Neurological Complications
Neuralink was evasive on the funds’ utilization. Nonetheless, the company did not rule out the pursuit of its objective to assist paralyzed individuals. Also, the project has, in the past, indicated an intention to assist individuals with neurological complications in regaining independence via devices controlled by their brain activity.
A notable development at Neuralink is its career board advertising the availability of various openings. The career board lists opportunities for engineering, safety, information technology specialists, and operations personnel.
The move by Neuralink to restore autonomy in victims of neurological damage and incapacitation mirrors ongoing efforts by researchers to develop neural implants. Such is evident in Northwell Health’s researchers from the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. The team announced assisting a victim of quadriplegia following a 2020 car accident to move limbs, feel and touch following a successful double neural bypass.
Neuralink Courts Controversy in Testing Tech on Animals
Neuralink has, in its seven-year journey, attracted controversy regarding testing tech on animal specimens. US representatives Earl Blumenauer and Adam Schiff, in May 2023, penned an open letter urging the Department of Agriculture to investigate a panel involved in supervising the animal testing at the company. The legislators alleged the conflicting interest in animal testing.
The letter questioned the involvement of the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) as it features membership comprising the company employees. The staff has committed huge financial stakes in the animal studies they are mandated to assess their compliance with the provisions of the Animal Welfare Act.
Neuralink has, in the past, assessed the technology using small-sized animals. The firm indicated monkeys and pigs as specimens. For instance, a monkey could play pong following the April 2021 project. The firm is destined for further development. The firm has already secured FDA approval to initiate human clinical trials.
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