Employees of Innospec are adding their grain of sand to research into the treatment for Friedreich’s ataxia

- Amics deCan Ruti, Research

The staff of the company Innospec have donated their Silver Corporate Safety Award to the research effort to find a treatment for Friedreich's ataxia, a project led by Dr Antonio Matilla and Dr Ivelisse Sánchez of the Neurogenetics Group at the IGTP.

Friedreich's ataxia is a neurodegenerative disease that mainly affects the capacity to make movements such as walking, speaking or swallowing. It gets progressively worse until it causes disability and lack of autonomy. The disease is caused by a defect in a gene that produces the mitochondrial protein Frataxina, leading to a lack of the protein, which in turn damages the neurons in the spinal cord and cerebellum and causes them to die off. The group at the IGTP has been working since 2014 on this type of ataxia, which at the moment has no cure.

With their donation the staff of Innospec have made a commitment to the initiative STOP-FA and Proyecto Julia to fight Friedreich's ataxia and collaborate with research into its treatment at the IGTP. It is rare disease, in Catalonia approximately 350 suffer from it and there are around 3000 in Spain.