York and Belfast, UK (August 19th, 2021) – Aptamer Group, the developer of custom affinity ligands to enable the life science industry through its proprietary OptimerTM platform, and ProAxsis Limited, a commercial-stage respiratory diagnostics company, today announce a partnership to develop Optimer ligands for ProAxsis’s diagnostic assays.
Under the terms of the agreement, Aptamer Group will develop validated Optimer ligands against critical targets for ProAxsis’s diagnostic assays. ProAxsis will then assess Optimer performance within their current diagnostics assays, with the view to potentially replacing the antibodies in their commercial diagnostic assays. Aptamer Group will receive initial upfront payments with the potential for long-term royalty fees upon project success and the integration of the Optimer reagents into ProAxsis’s diagnostic assays.
Optimer ligands are nucleic acid-based affinity ligands that deliver high temperature stability which can remove the requirement for cold-chain supply to enable simple, cost-effective and more sustainable global logistics. As Optimers are manufactured without reliance on biological systems, they are highly batch consistent and offer increased security of supply compared to protein-based affinity ligands.
Dr Arron Tolley, Chief Executive Officer of Aptamer Group, commented: “We are excited to be partnering with ProAxsis and potentially enabling improved diagnostic development with our end-to-end capabilities to identify and develop robust, high-performance reagents using our Optimer platform. We are hopeful that we can help ProAxsis to deliver improved global diagnostics to positively impact patient care.”
Dr David Ribeiro, Chief Executive Officer of ProAxsis Limited, added: “As we continue to expand our commercial activities, we’re keen to explore any potentially cost-effective solutions for improving the ease-of-supply of our product range to our global client base. We look forward to working on this project with the team at Aptamer Group.”
About Aptamer Group
Aptamer Group is a leading provider of Optimer™ reagents for use in research, diagnostics and therapeutics. The Company strives to deliver transformational solutions, that meet the needs of researchers and developers across the life sciences through the use of its proprietary Optimer technology.
Optimers affintiy ligands derived from nucleic acids that function as an antibody alternative. Despite many well-recognised problems with antibodies, the global antibody market is currently worth over $145Bn. Optimers are engineered to address many of the issues found with alternative affinity molecules, such as antibodies, and offer new, innovative solutions to bioprocessing, diagnostic and pharmaceutical scientists.
At Aptamer Group, we have successfully delivered projects for global pharma companies, diagnostic development companies, and research institutes covering a range of targets and applications with the objective of establishing royalty-bearing licenses. Through our unique technology and processes, we enable scientists and collaborators to make faster, more informed decisions that support discovery and development across the Life Sciences.
ProAxsis Limited is a commercial diagnostics company, based in Northern Ireland, and with a rapidly growing global client list of pharmaceutical companies and academic laboratories. 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 into 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. Grant-funded R&D projects for a variety of targets remain a key area of focus.
Aside from the provision of assays, ProAxsis can 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.
ProAxsis is a fully owned subsidiary of Netscientific plc, the international life sciences and sustainability technology investment and commercialisation Group.