- Recent fundraising to support early testing of Parkinson’s system in a clinical study
- Support received from Parkinson’s UK
- Progress in user recruitment for clinical study
Oxford, UK, 09 February 2021 – gaitQ®, a spin-out from the University of Oxford which is developing a wearable, smart medical device that helps those with Parkinson’s overcome gait freezing episodes, is pleased to announce a business update on its recent and ongoing activities since launching in March 2020.
Since its inception in 2020, the company has made significant progress towards the development of the gaitQ® system after attracting £625,000 in pre-seed capital from both the University of Oxford Innovation Fund V, managed by Parkwalk Advisors, and via a private investment from Simon Godwin, recently appointed Chairman of gaitQ®. Proceeds from the financing are being used to advance the early testing and development of gaitQ®’s device.
Parkinson’s UK has confirmed they will continue to support the development of gaitQ by facilitating patient and public involvement activities. The organisation, Europe’s largest charitable funder of Parkinson’s research, will help to build gaitQ®’s increasing network and advise on how the Company can engage with people with Parkinson’s, their carers, clinicians and other key stakeholders.
Natasha Ratcliffe, Research Involvement Manager at Parkinson’s UK, said: “People with Parkinson’s are at the heart of all the work we do and their invaluable experiences and insights are helping to shape all forms of pioneering research. We’re really pleased to support gaitQ® to involve the Parkinson’s community as they develop a device to overcome mobility issues.”
“Freezing is one of the most distressing yet least known symptoms of Parkinson’s, and a recent survey we carried out highlighted that this issue becomes increasingly important to people as the condition progresses. Innovative technologies like the gaitQ® system that could reduce freezing episodes hold real promise to significantly improve the quality of life for 145,000 people living with Parkinson’s in the UK, giving them more freedom to enjoy daily activities.”
gaitQ® is recruiting individuals with Parkinson’s for a study investigating the use of a range of device capabilities, in a clinical setting. The gaitQ system will include functionality to deliver personalized, adaptive cueing for people with Parkinson’s experiencing gait-freezing in a discreet, unobtrusive device. Data collected using the gaitQ® system will accurately reflect the episodes of gait freezing symptoms and walking quality over time to allow the progression of the condition to be tracked. In the future, data from the gaitQ® system could help clinicians optimize medication delivery or be provided to pharma companies as real-world evidence in developing new treatment options.
Tristan Collins, CEO of gaitQ®, said: “The last year has been very important for gaitQ and we are pleased to have made significant progress towards the development of our system despite the challenging COVID-19 environment that we are operating in. The investment, combined with the continued support from Parkinson’s UK, enhances the credibility and integrity of gaitQ and will help us achieve our mission of improving mobility in people with Parkinson’s. We are thankful for the continued support of our shareholders and are looking forward to receiving clinical validation from the upcoming clinical study which will take us to the next step in our development.”
Simon Godwin, Chairman of gaitQ®, said: “I am very proud of the gaitQ team who have continued to drive forward the company which was spun out of the University of Oxford at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis. I am excited about the year ahead as the company continues to grow from strength to strength.”
gaitQ® is a spinout from the University of Oxford developing a wearable, smart medical device aimed at restoring mobility in people with Parkinson’s. Around 45% of people with Parkinson’s eventually develop gait-freezing, an intermittent failure to initiate or maintain walking – often described as the most debilitating symptom of the condition. gaitQ’s first product will be a cueing device that helps individuals overcome gait-freezing episodes and maintain their levels of activity for longer. gaitQ® features personalised, adaptive cueing during periods of gait-freezing in a discrete, unobtrusive device. Powered by proprietary machine learning algorithms, gaitQ®’s technology has been in development for more than three years within Oxford University’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME) and the Department of Physiology Anatomy & Genetics (DPAG). A recent clinical study has demonstrated preliminary efficacy results showing a reduction in gait freezing events of 55%, a reduction of freeze duration of 73%, and an overall improvement in walking metrics. Find out more at www.gaitq.com
About Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s UK
Parkinson’s is what happens when the brain cells that make dopamine start to die. There are more than 40 symptoms, from tremor and pain to anxiety. Some are treatable, but the drugs can have serious side effects. It gets worse over time and there’s no cure. Yet.
Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world. Around 145,000 people in the UK have Parkinson’s.
For more facts and statistics, please click www.parkinsons.org.uk/about-us/reporting-parkinsons-journalist
Further information, advice and support is available on our website, www.parkinsons.org.uk