(“NetScientific”, the “Group” or the “Company”)
ProAxsis CEO End of Year Update
London, UK – 10 January 2022 – NetScientific plc (AIM: NSCI), the international life sciences and sustainability technology investment and commercialisation Group, announces that its wholly owned subsidiary ProAxsis Limited (“ProAxsis”), has provided a CEO update on the progress it made during 2021.
The CEO update notes key achievements during 2021, including an accelerated R&D programme, enhancement to the existing product portfolio and development of new revenues streams for 2022 and beyond. Much of the development work has been co-funded by grant support, including from Invest Northern Ireland and Innovate UK.
The key development work included the development of NE Premium assay with 100-fold improved sensitivity to the current product; the in-licensing from the University of Geneva in February 2021 of a highly novel protease-related immunoassay for use in the monitoring of Bone Health in conditions such as osteoporosis; the in-licencing in June 2021 from AstraZeneca of their internally-developed COVID-19 serology (antibody) assay; and the development of a 2-plex protease multiplex panel, which enables simultaneous measurement of two key proteases (neutrophil elastase and proteinase-3), which have been associated with COVID-19 symptom severity.
John Clarkson, Chairman of NetScientific plc and ProAxsis commented: “We are delighted with the continued progress being made at ProAxsis with accelerated developments, new products and additional revenue streams in 2022. In these challenging times, we can help deliver real benefits to the community, through the application of ProAxsis’ expanding expertise and are looking forward to a successful 2022.”
NetScientific holds 95% of ProAxsis on a fully diluted basis.
The full text of the announcement from ProAxsis, which can be viewed in full below is also available online here: https://proaxsis.com/proaxsis-update-report/
David Ribeiro, CEO, ProAxsis
As 2022 commences, I am pleased to provide an update on the progress made with regard to a number of the company’s key objectives announced during 2021. The global coronavirus pandemic continues to create uncertainty in many markets, including in Respiratory Medicine research, but based on the strong underlying financial position established via Netscientific’s acquisition of outstanding shares in late 2020, the company has continued to target three key areas of growth, and thanks to the expertise of its core scientific team, has made significant progress in each of these:
- An accelerated R&D programme
- The NE Premium assay has been created to offer improved sensitivity compared with the company’s existing ProteaseTag Active NE Immunoassay, thereby enabling usage in a wider range of biological samples. The development process for this assay has been partially supported by an R&D grant from Invest Northern Ireland and has proceeded extremely well with the assay now in the later stages of development prior to its anticipated registration with a CE Mark and commercial launch in 2022. The company’s target of a 100-fold improvement in sensitivity has been successfully achieved.
- An enhancement to the existing product portfolio
- In February 2021, the company secured an agreement with the University of Geneva, providing ProAxsis with development and global commercialisation rights of a highly novel protease-related immunoassay for use in the monitoring of Bone Health in conditions such as osteoporosis. The K-POSTn assay format has since been modified by the ProAxsis team to offer maximum sensitivity and ease-of-use, and the company is planning to register the assay with a CE Mark in 2022.
- Development of new revenue streams, including as part of the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic
- In mid-2021, ProAxsis executed an unprecedented deal for a company of its size when we agreed a Worldwide licensing deal with AstraZeneca for their internally-developed COVID-19 serology (antibody) assay. Whilst much of the focus of the scientific community and the public to date has been on antigen tests, to enable identification of current COVID-19 infection, we believe that there will be an increasing emphasis on antibody testing, to identify which individuals have detectable levels of antibodies following vaccination and/or COVID-19 infection. This is evidenced by data highlighting that booster shots are needed to raise antibody levels in order to better protect individuals against the recently-identified Omicron variant of the virus.
Since gaining access to the product, the ProAxsis team have continued to work closely with the team at AstraZeneca to modify the original prototype version of the assay, adapting various components and processes to create an easy-to-use, high-performance plasma-based assay for the identification of IgG antibodies raised against the COVID-19 virus for use in a clinical trial setting. Due to the nature of the coronavirus pandemic (increasing number of known variants, range of vaccines utilised globally, etc.), the assay development process is complex and time-consuming but the company has now run numerous samples, indicating that the assay is highly specific and sensitive for distinguishing between positive and negative samples.
In H1 2022, a World-renowned clinical partner who has supported multiple COVID-related assay development programmes, will conduct several of the required assay validation steps, which necessitates access to a cohort of very specific clinical samples, and which will provide key data for the dossier required to register the assay with a CE Mark. In parallel, the company continues to explore additional novel assay formats, and routes to market, for the product.
- Supported by Innovate UK, the company has successfully developed the first 2-plex protease multiplex panel, which is now being validated for use in a range of biological samples. This assay enables simultaneous measurement of two key proteases (neutrophil elastase and proteinase 3) which have been associated with COVID-19 symptom severity, utilising a widely available multiplex platform. We are currently in discussion with potential commercialisation partners for this highly novel product and anticipate making a further announcement on the progress of this assay in due course.
These new products are forecast to contribute significant incremental sales in 2022. Additionally, the company has continued to expand both its commercial and scientific teams, and expects to announce further news on its laboratory expansion plans during 2022.
For more information, please contact:
|NetScientific||Via Walbrook PR|
|Ilian Iliev, CEO|
|WH Ireland (NOMAD, Financial Adviser and Broker)|
|Chris Fielding / Darshan Patel||+44 (0)20 7220 1666|
|Nick Rome/ Paul McManus/
|07748 325 236, 07980 541 893
or 07884 664 686
NetScientific plc (AIM: NSCI) is a holding company, that invests in, develops, commercialises and realises shareholder value in life sciences/healthcare, sustainability and technology companies, which offer significant growth potential predominately in the UK and USA, as well as globally.
With the acquisition of EMV Capital in August 2020, the Group doubled its portfolio from 8 to 17 companies, either through direct subsidiary, balance sheet investment or capital under advisory, varying from start-up private companies to publicly listed equities.
NetScientific delivers shareholder returns through a proactive and hands-on management approach to their portfolio companies; identifying, investing in, and helping to build game-changing companies. The Group targets value inflection points and the release of value through partial or full exits from trade sales, public listings, or equity sales. The Company has a strong transatlantic and growing international presence, providing attractive expansion prospects.
NSCI can deploy a capital-light investment structure; utilising the power of the PLC Brand, and the NetScientific balance sheet to anchor future investments and achieve a multiplier effect by attracting 3rd party investment for the portfolio companies.
NetScientific is headquartered in London, United Kingdom, and was admitted to trading on AIM, a market operated by the London Stock Exchange, in 2013 (website: www.netscientific.net).
ProAxsis Limited is a commercial-stage diagnostics company, based in Northern Ireland, and with a rapidly growing client list of pharmaceutical companies and academic laboratories.
The company promotes a range of assay kits designed for the specific measurement of active protease biomarkers of disease. Our 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.
The company has registered a CE Mark for activity-based immunoassays targeting Neutrophil Elastase (NE) and Proteinase 3, as biomarkers of lung infection and inflammation in chronic respiratory diseases such as COPD, cystic fibrosis and bronchiectasis.
This technology has been translated in to a point-of-care test (NEATstik®), to enable ongoing monitoring of active NE levels. Recently published data has shown that measuring active NE levels using NEATstik® enables identification of patients with airway bacterial infection and those patients at highest risk of suffering pulmonary exacerbations over the subsequent 12 months.
In addition to proteases, the company also has significant expertise in the measurement of other inflammatory biomarkers, including IL-6, IL-8 and TNF-alpha.
Aside from the provision of assays, ProAxsis is able to offer sample analysis at its purpose-built laboratory facility in Belfast, and is currently supporting a number of pharmaceutical company-sponsored Phase I, II and III clinical trials.