VirtualScopics, Inc. And IXICO plc Announce The Formation Of A Scientific Advisory Board To Benefit Both Companies; Dr. Edward Ashton, Ph.D. Appointed Chairman

Jul 14, 2014, 04:00 ET from VirtualScopics, Inc.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. and LONDON, July 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- VirtualScopics, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSCP) and IXICO plc (AIM: IXI) jointly announced today the formation of a Scientific Advisory Board that will benefit both companies. Dr. Edward Ashton, Ph.D., chief scientific officer, VirtualScopics, will chair the Board which initially will have seven members.

"The formation of this joint Scientific Advisory Board is an important initiative of the international commercial and operational alliance we signed with IXICO plc on June 27, 2014," said Eric Converse, interim president and chief executive officer of VirtualScopics. "We are very honored and pleased that our initial members have agreed to pioneer this very strategic effort on both companies' parts."

The founding members of the Scientific Advisory Board are:

  • Dr. Edward Ashton, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, VirtualScopics, Inc. (Chair)
  • Dr. Derek Hill, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, IXICO plc
  • Dr. Jonathan Riek, Ph.D., Chief Technical Officer, VirtualScopics, Inc.
  • Dr. Jeffrey Evelhoch, Ph.D., Vice President & Global Head of Imaging in Early Stage Development, Merck Research Laboratories
  • Dr. Dirk Reitsma, M.D., Vice President of Global Product Development and Therapeutic Area Head of Oncology, PPD
  • Dr. Claude Sirlin, M.D., Professor of Radiology & Chief of Body Imaging, Department of Radiology, University of California, San Diego
  • Dr. Karl Schwarz, M.D., University of Rochester

"A benefit of the alliance between IXICO and VirtualScopics is the ability and opportunity for us to think more strategically about the evolving needs of our customers in the pharmaceutical industry and the ways they can best use imaging in their clinical studies," said Dr. Derek Hill, Ph.D., chief executive officer of IXICO. "This includes selecting subjects for trials as well as assessing the efficacy and safety of experimental treatments. The Scientific Advisory Board provides a forum for key alliance scientists to work with external experts to map current and future roles for imaging in a number of disease categories."

"I am very pleased to chair this joint Scientific Advisory Board," said Dr. Edward Ashton, Ph.D.,  chief scientific officer of VirtualScopics. "Our Board members are all distinguished opinion leaders from a broad range of disciplines related to the conduct of imaging in clinical trials.  The Board will meet quarterly and focus on early and late phase oncology, cardiology, metabolic disorders and neurology."

About the Scientific Advisory Board Members

Dr. Edward Ashton, Ph.D., has been the chief scientific officer of VirtualScopics for the past 14 years, with primary technical responsibility for all projects in both oncology and central nervous system disease. He has extensive experience in image acquisition and analysis in both biomedical imaging and military surveillance and reconnaissance. Dr. Ashton has produced numerous articles and book chapters in the fields of biomedical imaging with applications to clinical trials and target detection and image analysis with military applications. He received both his Ph.D. and MS degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester, where his research focused on MRI applications in the brain, and his BS degree in electrical engineering from Loyola College.

Dr. Derek Hill, Ph.D., is the co-founder and chief executive officer of IXICO plc. He co-founded IXICO in 2004 to bring the best possible imaging technology and know-how to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries. In addition to his role at IXICO, Dr. Hill has an academic appointment as full professor at University College London (UCL). He has been working on medical image analysis for more than 20 years and has authored approximately 100 journal papers in this field. His research track record includes image acquisition and analysis, image acquisition and analysis for drug discovery and development, other aspects of image acquisition including motion correction and partially parallel imaging in MRI and motion compensation in PET. He has worked on applications in the study of dementia, heart disease, arthritis, oncology and guiding interventions. He is actively involved in the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) in the U.S., has served on scientific advisory boards for several pharmaceutical companies and is involved in the Critical Path Institute's Coalition Against Major Diseases (CAMD) biomarker qualification initiatives for Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease.  Dr. Hill received a BSc degree in physics at Imperial College, his MSc degree in medical physics at the University of Surrey and his Ph.D. in medical image analysis at the Medical School of Guy's & St. Thomas' Hospitals, University of London.

Dr. Jonathan Riek, Ph.D., joined the VirtualScopics team in 2001 and is the chief technical officer of the company, with technical responsibility for all musculoskeletal and metabolic projects at VirtualScopics. Dr. Riek has extensive custom software development experience in both biomedical imaging and consumer imaging. Dr. Riek holds four patents and has produced several articles on the reduction of motion artifacts in MRI. Dr. Riek earned his Ph.D., MS and BS degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester.

Dr. Jeffrey Evelhoch, Ph.D., joined Merck Research Laboratories, (MRL), as vice president and global head of Imaging in Early Stage Development in 2008 to provide leadership and coordination for the use of preclinical and clinical imaging resources for all MRL franchises and functions.  He ensures that imaging biomarkers are used optimally in discovery, early stage and late stage development to help advance Merck's compounds through to registration.  Early on in his career, Dr. Evelhoch was professor of Internal Medicine, Oncology and Radiology at Wayne State University School of Medicine.  His research there centered on novel ways to use in vivo magnetic resonance to quantify tumor physiology and hemodynamics non-invasively and to predict and/or monitor tumor response to treatment. Prior to joining MRL, Dr. Evelhoch worked for several pharmaceutical companies in senior imaging science roles, including Pharmacia, Pfizer, and Amgen. Throughout his career, Dr. Evelhoch has actively published research findings and served on National Institutes of Health (NIH) review committees.  He is currently a member of the National Cancer Institute's Experimental Therapeutics (NExT) Special Emphasis Panel. He was named a fellow of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) in 2003. Dr. Evelhoch is involved in a number of joint efforts of professional organizations, industry groups and federal agencies to further the development and use of quantitative imaging, including the Biomarker Consortium and the Quantitative Imaging Biomarker Alliance. He received his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of California at Riverside and was a NIH postdoctoral fellow at Washington University.

Dr. Dirk Reitsma, M.D., joined PPD in 2010 and is vice president of Global Product Development and Therapeutic Area Head of Oncology. Dr. Reitsma has extensive experience in clinical development and during his career has worked for a number of pharmaceutical companies, including MedImmune, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Antigenics, Inc.(now Agenus) and Organon International, Inc.  Dr. Reitsma has a particular interest in clinical trial design, biologics and biosimilars, and in 2010 he chaired a two-day "Advancing Biologics" meeting in Brussels where he presented "Navigating the Challenges of Developing Biosimilars." He is a frequent speaker, presenter and author on trends and developments in clinical trial oncology programs. Dr. Reitsma received his medical degree from Erasmus University in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. His Phase I, II and III oncology clinical research experience spans small molecules and biologics in hematologic malignancies and solid tumors, including bone metastases.

Dr. Claude Sirlin, M.D., is currently a professor of Radiology and chief of Body Imaging in the Department of Radiology at the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). He directs the Liver Imaging Group and co-directs the Cancer Imaging Program at UCSD. Dr. Sirlin also chairs the Liver Imaging Reporting and Data System (LI-RADS) Committee for the American College of Radiology and is chair of the Radiology Committee for the NIH-funded Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis Clinical Research Network. His research focuses on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) and quantitative ultrasound of liver cancer and chronic liver disease. As chair of the LI-RADS Committee, Dr. Sirlin has helped spearhead the development and continued refinement of the first comprehensive system for standardized terminology, interpretation and reporting of CT and MRI examinations of the liver in patients at risk for hepatocellular carcinoma. He has published more than 130 manuscripts, 15 book chapters, 150 scientific abstracts, 90 educational exhibits and is a peer reviewer on eight scientific journals. His research group is funded by NIH and serves as the radiology coordinating centers for NIH and industry clinical trials.

Dr. Karl Schwarz, M.D., has been a professor of Medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine's Cardiology Division since 2007. Dr. Schwarz joined the faculty in 1990 and has been the director of the adult echocardiography laboratory since 1992. Dr. Schwarz has been one of the leaders in moving echocardiography from a qualitative field to a quantitative assessment of cardiovascular anatomy and physiology. To this end, he has spearheaded the use of echo contrast for LV volume assessment, modernized the methods used to assess cardiac valve areas, and has implemented 3D/4D echocardiography in the transesophageal echocardiography laboratory. Dr. Schwarz is a recognized expert in the areas of microbubble echo contrast physics, mechanical circulatory support and electronic medical records, including medical informatics. He is co-director of the Cardiovascular Engineering Laboratory at both the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology, where he holds a secondary appointment as a research professor in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering. Dr. Schwarz' clinical research interests are in new applications for ultrasound contrast agents, new methods for cardiac anatomy and physiology quantification, and medical informatics. He is the author of the Pronto Cardiovascular Database System, an electronic medical record that has been in use at the University of Rochester and other institutions for almost 25 years. Recently Dr. Schwarz was funded by Google, Inc. to develop a new non-invasive home cardiovascular monitoring system.

About VirtualScopics, Inc. VirtualScopics, Inc. (NASDAQ: VSCP) is a leading provider of clinical trial imaging solutions to accelerate drug and medical device development. For risk-averse, time-constrained Clinical Trial Study Teams, Medical Directors and Imaging Scientists who require quality imaging data delivered on-time, within budget and on a consistent basis, VirtualScopics' clinical trial imaging solutions are an inspired true-exception to commonly-accepted services provided by other clinical trial imaging providers. Because of the scientific and operational flexibility and responsiveness they can offer, VirtualScopics' clinical trial imaging solutions deliver special performance advantages compared to other image service providers that offer common, every day clinical trial imaging services. For more information on VirtualScopics, please visit

About IXICO plc IXICO plc (AIM: IXI), the brain health company, was founded in 2004 with a mission to translate image acquisition, management and analysis technology and know-how, which the founders had developed together, into commercial products targeting the expanding area of imaging to inform decision-making during drug development. This has resulted in commercially successful products being launched in the clinical trials (Phase 0-III) and experimental medicine markets and more recently launched into the wider clinical diagnostic market. Since incorporation, IXICO has been awarded contracts by nine of the top 15 global pharmaceutical companies as well as leading biotechnology companies. In October 2013, IXICO plc was admitted to trading on AIM. More information is available at

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Contact for VirtualScopics, Inc.

Contact for IXICO, plc

Donna N. Stein, APR, Fellow PRSA

Dr. Derek Hill, Ph.D.

Managing Partner, Donna Stein & Partners

Chief Executive Officer

Phone:  315-361-4672

Phone:  +44 20 3763 7498


SOURCE VirtualScopics, Inc.