Elon Musk's brain-computer interface company Neuralink announced that it had received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct its first-in-human clinical study.

Receiving FDA approval "represents an important first step that will one day allow our technology to help many people," Neuralink said in a tweet.

There are no details yet about the planned study. The company only noted that it hasn't begun recruiting participants for the trial yet, but more information will be available soon.

Getting FDA approval for a commercial medical device is a challenging task. In March 2023, Reuters reported that the FDA did not allow Neuralink to test their brain chip implants in humans. The regulator outlined dozens of safety issues that the company needed to resolve before moving forward.

FDA Rejects Neuralink’s Request to Test Brain Chip Implants in Humans
While the sources declined to give Reuters the FDA’s written denial, explaining it was a confidential document, they described the features of the devices that caused the regulator’s concerns.

Major safety concerns involved the battery system of the device, the potential that the tiny wires of the implant could migrate to non-targeted areas of the brain, and questions over how and if the device can be removed without damaging the human brain.

In late 2022, Elon Musk also announced that the company would receive FDA approval and begin human trials within six months – that is, by the spring of this year.