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Ixico joins Friedreich's Ataxia research consortium

By Josh White

Date: Thursday 24 Sep 2020

Ixico joins Friedreich's Ataxia research consortium

(Sharecast News) - Data analytics company Ixico has entered into a five-year collaboration with the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA), it announced on Thursday, which it described as a non-profit organization dedicated to the pursuit of scientific research leading to treatments and a cure for Friedreich's Ataxia (FA).

The AIM-traded firm said it would become a member of the 'TRACK-FA Neuroimaging Consortium', working with clinicians and researchers to explore novel imaging markers in Friedreich's Ataxia.

It said FA is a rare inherited, debilitating, life-limiting, degenerative neuromuscular disorder, and although rare, it was the most common form of hereditary ataxia in the United States, affecting about one in every 50,000 people.

It causes progressive nervous system damage and movement problems, and usually begins in childhood and leads to impaired muscle coordination, or ataxia, that worsens over time, with the rate of progression varying from person to person.

Generally, within 10 to 20 years after the appearance of the first symptoms, the person is confined to a wheelchair.

The TRACK-FA Neuroimaging Consortium is a representative group of stakeholders with interest in the design, conduct, support and participation in neuroimaging studies in FA, facilitating the exchange of data and other information with the goal of furthering the understanding of FA, identifying sensitive neuroimaging biomarkers and advancing the development of treatments for FA.

Ixico said it would support the implementation of novel analysis algorithms, with the aim of providing a trial ready imaging solution for FA clinical trials.

The company said it would be an industry member and stakeholder in the consortium, working alongside academic partners with expertise in neuroimaging and conducting clinical research in FA.

Those partners would include Monash University in Australia, the University of Minnesota in the US, Aachen University in Germany, the University of Campinas in Brazil, the University of Florida in the US, and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in the US.

This contract did not have a significant impact on management's expectations of performance for the year, the board said, but would contribute to its "already strong" year-end order book.

"This new consortium will help to accelerate the quest for new treatments for Friedreich's Ataxia by bringing together some of the leading researchers in the field from both academia and industry with the specific goal of developing new tools to better understand and characterise this debilitating disease," said the company's senior vice-president for science and innovation, Dr Robin Wolz.

"Ixico will bring its expertise in neuroimaging and AI to support the development and validation of new biomarkers which in turn will help to identify the most promising treatments and bring these to patients sooner."

At 1130 BST, shares in Ixico were down 1.4% at 81.84p.

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