Elon Musk and his biotech startup, Neuralink, face fresh allegations of potential securities fraud related to statements Musk made concerning the deaths of primates used for research at the company.
An ethics group, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, has called on the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate Musk’s claims that the monkeys who died during Neuralink trials were terminally ill and not due to the Neuralink implants.
The group contends, based on veterinary records, that complications from the implant procedures led to the monkeys’ deaths. Musk’s comments could potentially mislead investors about the safety of Neuralink’s product.
Neuralink had initially sought approval for ten participants in its first human trial, but the number was reduced after the FDA raised safety concerns. This recent development comes after Neuralink faced federal investigations for its animal testing practices.
The allegations and calls for investigation are the latest in a series of controversies surrounding Neuralink’s activities. Despite these challenges, the company recently announced approval from an independent review board to commence a study aimed at enabling individuals with paralysis to control a computer keyboard or cursor using their thoughts.
The SEC, which oversees the sale of securities, including those from privately held companies like Neuralink, has not commented on the Physicians Committee’s letters, and Neuralink has not responded to questions about the allegations.
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