ProAxsis launches first-in-class ProteaseTagTM test for Cystic Fibrosis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
London, UK – 4 August 2015 – NetScientific portfolio company, ProAxsis, a medical diagnostics spin-out from Queen’s University Belfast, has officially launched its proprietary first-in-class ProteaseTag™ immunoassay kits to research labs and announces its first two customer orders, including a major pharma company.
ProAxsis is developing a range of products for the capture, detection and measurement of active protease biomarkers of diseases. This test measures Neutrophil Elastase, a leading indicator of infection in patients with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and an important drug target. The rapid and easy-to-use tests incorporate patented ProteaseTags™; smart molecules which trap an active protease within a complex biological sample and enable a visual readout of its presence. ProteaseTags™ provide a unique tool to identify and quantify active protease biomarkers and will assist in the clinical validation of new therapeutics.
ProAxsis is one of NetScientific’s five core portfolio companies that it highlighted at the time of its full year results in March. The biomedical and healthcare technology group began investing in the company in February 2014 to further develop and commercialise its range of novel medical diagnostic tests. Now, with the launch of its first-in-class immunoassay kit, ProAxsis will focus on building its academic and pharma customer base and developing other products for different indications.
David Gough, Chairman of ProAxsis, and Executive Director of NetScientific, said: “The launch of the first ProteaseTag™ immunoassay is a major milestone for ProAxsis. We believe there is a huge potential demand for the Neutrophil Elastase test that could significantly contribute to respiratory disease and infection research. ProteaseTags™ also have the benefit of being applicable to a wide pipeline of products targeting other diseases, such as cancer and cardiovascular disorders, allowing ProAxsis to access part of a multibillion dollar therapeutics market.”
Dr Lorraine Martin, CEO of ProAxsis, said: “Our technology’s competitive advantages include higher sensitivity and specificity in measuring active proteases in clinical samples than existing methods, which is resonating with customers. Receiving our first orders from two notable companies is a huge step forward for us and we expect a good conversion of our current pipeline.”
ProAxsis is also developing a point-of-care (PoC) NEATstik™ test to measure active proteases in CF and COPD which will enable the proactive management of these diseases with the aim of improving patient outcome and reducing hospitalisations. NEATstik™ will enable entry into the rapidly growing PoC market that is estimated to be worth over £20 billion. The test has the potential to revolutionise the management of respiratory diseases, acting as an early monitoring device for patients to alert them of a potential infection.
Notes to Editors
ProAxsis is developing a range of products for the capture, detection and measurement of active protease biomarkers of diseases. The rapid and easy-to-use tests incorporate patented ProteaseTags™; smart molecules which trap an active protease within a complex biological sample and enable a visual readout of its presence. ProAxsis also offers customers a highly experienced team that can provide clinical research services in regard to the specific measurement of active proteases within clinical samples as well as target validation.
ProAxsis was named one of Northern Ireland’s most promising companies in 2013. It is also the only company in Northern Ireland, and one of only a few in the UK, to have secured a prestigious Horizon 2020 SME Instrument Award. For more information, please visit: www.proaxsis.com.
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