Synchron Gears Up for Big Brain Implant Trial

Synchron Inc., a competitor to Elon Musk’s Neuralink, is getting ready for a major clinical trial to test its brain implant device. This trial is a big step towards getting approval to use the device commercially. The company’s CEO, Thomas Oxley, shared details with Reuters.

On Monday, Synchron plans to launch an online registry for patients interested in joining the trial. They’ve already received interest from about 120 clinical trial centers. Oxley explained that they want to avoid any delays in recruitment, so they’re starting early.

Unlike Neuralink, Synchron is further along in testing its brain implant. Both companies aim to help paralyzed people type on a computer using signals from their brains. Synchron has already received approval for testing in the U.S. and has implanted its device in six patients. They’re now analyzing the data to prepare for a larger study.

This trial will focus on patients paralyzed due to conditions like ALS, stroke, and multiple sclerosis. Collaborating institutions like Mount Sinai in New York and the University at Buffalo Neurosurgery are already involved in the preliminary study.

Dr. David Lacomis from UPMC and Dr. Elad Levy from the University at Buffalo shared positive feedback about the ongoing trials. Synchron’s investors include big names like Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates.

The device by Synchron is unique because it’s delivered through a vein next to the brain’s motor cortex, unlike Neuralink’s surgical implant. Synchron is also investing in manufacturing to enhance its production capacity. While Musk has shown interest in Synchron before, there’s no confirmation of any investment.

This trial is a significant milestone in the development of brain computer interface devices, offering hope for paralyzed individuals to regain some mobility.

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