ProAxsis (www.proaxsis.com), the Belfast-based diagnostics company, and a collaboration of the University of Geneva and the University Hospital of Geneva, today announce that they have reached agreement on a global licensing agreement. Researchers at the University have developed a highly novel assay for a Cathepsin K-dependent periostin cleavage product, as a biomarker of bone fragility related to disorders such as osteoporosis. The technology is currently the subject of patent applications in Europe and the US. As a result of this agreement, ProAxsis will complete the technical validation of the assay, and seek to commercialise the assay in key territories before the end of 2021.
Speaking about the plans, Dr David Ribeiro, CEO of ProAxsis, said:
“We believe this assay will allow the rapid non‐invasive identification of subjects at high risk of osteoporotic fractures and potentially other metabolic bone diseases. This is an incredibly exciting addition to our product portfolio and fits with our business growth plans; including identifying and in-licensing diagnostic tools which fulfil a high unmet need.”
Professor Serge Ferrari, Head of Bone Diseases at the University of Geneva and one of the inventors of the assay technology, said:
“Fragility fractures are a major clinical and public health issue, yet identification of subjects at high risk of fracture remains challenging. The high specificity of the Cathepsin K digested periostin fragment for bone thus presents itself as an ideal candidate to improve prediction of bone fragility.”
Dr Jennifer Cadby, Licensing Officer at the University of Geneva, added:
“We’re delighted to have signed this agreement with ProAxsis and are excited to combine the expertise of the groups in Geneva and Belfast.”
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 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 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 became a fully owned subsidiary of Netscientific plc in October 2020.
To learn more, please visit www.proaxsis.com.
About University of Geneva
Our University is recognized today as one of the top 100 universities in the world and the second largest innovative player in Europe (Nature Index Innovation). We encourage interdisciplinarity both in teaching and research, which has garnered us worldwide recognition.
To learn more, please visit www.unige.ch.