ProAxsis (www.proaxsis.com), the Belfast-based diagnostics company, today announces that it will be conducting a collaborative 12-month project with the Northern Ireland Connected Health Innovation Centre (CHIC), based at Ulster University.
The project will focus on the development of a quantitative lateral flow device designed to monitor the ongoing clinical status of patients with respiratory diseases such as bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). In addition to ProAxsis and CHIC, the collaboration will include two other partners – Causeway Sensors, who utilise nanotechnology to support companies developing novel medicines and diagnostic tests, and CMASS Limited, one of the leading Electronic Contract Manufacturers in Northern Ireland.
Speaking about the plans, Dr David Ribeiro, CEO of ProAxsis, said: “CHIC is focused on business-led research in the area of connected health, making it an ideal long-term partner for us. This exciting collaboration will support the further development of NEATstik®, our highly novel and innovative point-of-care test for the measurement of active neutrophil elastase, which has already been shown to correlate with the presence of bacterial infection and the risk of clinical worsening in patients suffering from respiratory disease.”
David Branagh, CHIC Centre Director added: “CHIC seeks to lead transformational research which aligns care needs with technology providers, researchers and clinical experience within Northern Ireland. We believe the current CHIC funded project will support ProAxsis as they look to further commercialise their innovative NEATstik® technology and to enhance their position as a world leader in the diagnostic monitoring of respiratory disease”.
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 Connected Health Innovation Centre (CHIC) is a Northern Ireland based industry-led Competency Centre funded by Invest Northern Ireland. CHIC addresses the needs of the Connected Health Industry to answer research questions, work collaboratively with other businesses and health stakeholders, and develop skills and knowledge at the leading edge of technology, with a particular focus in the areas of rapid prototyping, platforms and systems development, artificial intelligence (AI), 3d printing, app development and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.