ProAxsis Limited, the Belfast-based diagnostics company in respiratory disease, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded an Innovate UK grant for the development of a remote respiratory monitoring tool.

The project, titled ‘’Enhanced stratification of COPD patients via integration of a digitally enabled biomarker Point-of-Care test within a Remote Patient Monitoring tool’’, is a collaboration between ProAxsis and CPI, a technology innovation catalyst. The project has been awarded a total grant of £491,154, with ProAxsis, the project lead, allocated £333,521 and CPI receiving £157,633.

ProAxsis previously developed a novel point-of-care test, NEATstik®, which allows active Neutrophil Elastase (NE) to be quickly measured within 10 minutes. The NE enzyme is associated with the severity of several respiratory diseases, including Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), where repeated cycles of infection and inflammation leads to active NE release from immune cells, causing lung damage. A key advantage of the NEATstik® test is that it could be used in the patient’s home, thereby avoiding unnecessary trips to hospital, a key consideration in the post-COVID environment.

Together, ProAxsis and CPI will significantly enhance the sample processing required for the NEATstik® test and integrate the test alongside multiple other respiratory health measures into a bespoke remote patient monitoring tool, allowing patients to conduct the test at home, and their healthcare professionals to observe the NEATstik® test result alongside other important health data.

Alan Markey, Chairperson of ProAxsis, commented:

“Securing this grant highlights the pioneering work being conducted at ProAxsis. As project lead, we are excited about collaborating with CPI to advance remote patient monitoring in respiratory disease, with the support of Innovate UK, the UK’s leading innovation agency. This significant funding injection will accelerate our efforts to deliver innovative solutions for patients and healthcare professionals alike.’’

Tom Harvey, Chief Technologist – HealthTech at CPI, said:

‘’Remote monitoring for people with respiratory conditions such as COPD could revolutionise how health professionals deliver care to people with these conditions. Meanwhile, we know that by empowering patients to take control of their own health in the home has significant benefits for their wellbeing. CPI is committed to creating a lasting impact through close collaboration with our partners. That’s why we are delighted to be working with ProAxsis on this new project which seeks to transition an existing diagnostic test out the clinic and closer to point of care.’’

About ProAxsis

ProAxsis Limited is a global diagnostics company, based in Northern Ireland, with a specific focus on active protease biomarkers. The company currently commercialises 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 months1.

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 provides clinical services at its purpose-built laboratory facility in Belfast and supports pharmaceutical company-sponsored Phase I, II and III clinical trials.   

  1. Shoemark A, Cant E, Carreto L, Smith A, Oriano M, Keir HR, Perea L, Canto E, Terranova L, Vidal S, Moffitt K, Aliberti S, Sibila O, Chalmers JD. A point-of-care neutrophil elastase activity assay identifies bronchiectasis severity, airway infection and risk of exacerbation. Eur Respir J. 2019 Jun 13;53(6):1900303. doi: 10.1183/13993003.00303-2019. PMID: 31151955.

For more information, please contact:

Alan Markey, Chair                                                                            

About CPI

CPI catalyses the adoption of advanced technologies and manufacturing solutions to benefit people, places, and our planet. 

We’re a pioneering social enterprise that accelerates the development, scale-up and commercialisation of smart AgriFoodTech, energy storage, HealthTech, materials, and pharma innovations. Through our incredible innovation experts and infrastructure, we look beyond the obvious to transform healthcare and drive towards a sustainable future.

As a trusted partner of industry, academia, government, entrepreneurs and the investment community, we connect the dots within the innovation ecosystem to make great ideas and inventions a reality. We believe by working together we can build a better collective future, and as part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, we facilitate access to world-class organisations to deliver transformation across industries and landscapes. 

Creating lasting global impact from the North of England and Scotland, we invest in people and disruptive technologies to invigorate economies, create circular supply chains and make our world a better place.

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