ProAxsis Limited, the Belfast-based diagnostics company, today announces that in partnership with Dr Rich Williams, a Senior Lecturer in the School of Medicine, Dentistry and BioMedical Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast, it has been successful in its application to the Collaborative Studentship competition.

The collaborative project will involve recruitment of a PhD student to explore methods of early detection of inflammatory proteases, which is essential for treating life-debilitating inflammatory lung diseases, as well as many cancers, and identifying patients that require treatment earlier to improve quality of life.

The studentship is part-funded via the Northern Ireland Department for the Economy and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), and as part of the collaboration, the student will spend a minimum of three months based at the ProAxsis laboratory.

Dr Timothy Ferguson, Head of Chemistry at ProAxsis, said: “Queen’s has an excellent track-record of collaborating with private industry to successfully deliver impactful, user-informed research so we are delighted to have been successful with this application and look forward to working with Dr Williams, his team and the new PhD student when they are appointed.”

Potential applicants for the role can find further details at:

Development and testing of a Proof of Concept Cathepsin S ProteaseTag Activity-Based Immunoassay
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 months.

The company has significantly expanded its product portfolio, via the recent in-licensing of a novel bone health assay from the University of Geneva, and a COVID-19 serology assay from AstraZeneca.

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 funded 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.

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