ProAxsis (www.proaxsis.com), the Belfast-based diagnostics company, has formed a new partnership with Ulster University, the largest university in Northern Ireland. The company will be collaborating on an initial 12-week project with the Eastern Corridor Medical Engineering (ECME) mini-projects scheme, which supports the development of industrially relevant platform technologies.
The project will involve significant interaction between ProAxsis and the University, and is targeted at utilising the extensive specialist expertise of the University team to drive enhancements to the company’s existing portfolio of products. The ECME Programme, including the Mini Projects, are funded by the European Union’s Interreg VA Programme which is managed by the Special EU Programmes body (SEUPB).
Speaking about the plans, Dr David Ribeiro, CEO of ProAxsis, said:
“The ECME lead partner, Ulster University, has a long-standing and successful heritage of creating value from their knowledge base, so we’re absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to work with them on the ECME Mini Projects, which we believe will produce highly commercially beneficial outputs. We look forward to announcing updates on this collaborative project in the near future.”
Professor Jim McLaughlin, Head of the School of Engineering at Ulster University and also Programme Director for ECME added:
“We were very impressed by the response to the ECME COVID-19 Call both in terms of the number of applications received but also the readiness of the applicant companies to respond swiftly to the COVID-19 pandemic. We strongly believe that the awards will help target the local and national response to the pandemic but also lead to longer term economic impact across the region, especially in the development of new products, platforms and expertise that will eventually be harnessed for future development beyond COVID-19.”
ProAxsis Limited is a commercial-stage 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 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.
ProAxsis is one of the core portfolio companies of Netscientific plc. The company is also supported by QUBIS, the commercialisation arm of the Queens University Belfast.
The Eastern Corridor Medical Engineering Centre (ECME) is a collaborative research project focusing on improving cardiovascular health. It is a partnership between five leading academic research centres, Ulster University, Dublin City University, University College Dublin, University of the Highlands and Islands, Dundalk Institute of Technology and the Southern Health & Social Care Trust.
ECME is funded by the European Union’s InterregVA Programme which is managed by the Special EU Programmes body (SEUPB). The €283m INTERREG VA Programme is one of 60 similar funding programmes across the European Union that have been designed to help overcome the issues that arise from the existence of a border. These issues range from access to transport, health and social care services, environmental issues and enterprise development.
For more information on ECME, please visit www.ecme-research.com