Elon Musk’s brain implant company Neuralink is now valued at around $5 billion based on privately executed stock trades, according to a Reuters report.
Neuralink, founded in 2016, was worth just $2 billion in a fundraising round two years ago, according to data provider Pitchbook, but has experienced an influx of new investors since a May 25 announcement from U.S. regulators approving a human trial on its brain chip.
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Neuralink’s brain machine interface develops solutions for victims of paralysis, but experts believe it could take several years before the company will receive clearance for commercial use.
Following the trial’s approval, however, Neuralink shares were marketed privately to investors in recent days at a $7 billion valuation, equivalent to $55 per share, according to an email seen by Reuters.
While Neuralink executives and Musk have not responded to requests for comment, Musk has said the company’s chip would allow healthy and disabled people alike to stop by neighborhood facilities for prompt surgical insertions to treat obesity, autism, depression and schizophrenia. Musk also said he sees them being used for web-surfing and telepathy.
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A Neuralink executive recently gave more modest short-term objectives, such as helping paralyzed patients communicate through computerized text without typing.
FDA and government run-ins
Neuralink’s initial request for a human trial was rejected by the FDA last year, citing safety concerns. Since then, Musk’s startup has been scrutinized by U.S. lawmakers after its animal-research board possibly violated conflict-of-interest regulations.
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The Agriculture Department is also investigating Neuralink for potential animal-welfare violations, while the Transportation Department is separately probing whether the company illegally transported dangerous pathogens on chips removed from monkey brains without proper containment measures.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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