Synchron Inc, a rival to Elon Musk’s Neuralink brain implant startup, is preparing to recruit patients for a large-scale clinical trial required to seek commercial approval for its device, the company’s chief executive told Reuters.

EXPANDING THE MARKET
Synchron, whose investors include billionaires Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates, and Neuralink compete in a niche of so-called brain computer interface (BCI) devices. Such devices use electrodes that penetrate the brain or sit on its surface to provide direct communication to computers. No company has received final FDA approval to market a BCI brain implant.

“They want to expand the market to people who have had a stroke severe enough to cause paralysis because if limited to quadriplegia, the market is way too small to be sustainable,” Kip Ludwig, former program director for neural engineering at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, said of Synchron.

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