Measuring bone health with a new innovation for patients at high risk of osteoporotic fractures

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ProAxsis is delighted to announce the approval of a key US patent for the underlying technology associated with its brand-new K-POSTN Assay, which the company intends to launch shortly.

In partnership with the expert Bone Health team led by Professor Serge Ferrari at the University of Geneva, ProAxsis is creating a highly novel and patented bone-specific enzyme-linked immunoassay (ELISA) for the detection of serum K-POSTN, a fragment produced from the digestion of periostin (a type of protein that in humans is encoded by the POSTN gene) by cathepsin K which has localised activity in bone and has been shown to predict incident fractures independently of BMD and FRAX in post-menopausal women.

Commenting following the approval of the US patent, Dr David Ribeiro, CEO of ProAxsis said, “The K-POSTN assay has the potential to help Healthcare Professionals screen, identify and/or monitor people most at risk of osteoporotic fractures and other bone diseases, thus enabling early therapeutic intervention which will decrease the burden on the health service and increase quality of life for the patient.

Furthermore, for Researchers and Pharmaceutical Companies seeking to develop new treatments for osteoporosis, the K-POSTN assay will deliver specific and quantifiable outcome measurements due to the rapid response shown by biomarkers to both anabolic and anticatabolic drugs.”

We’ll be posting more information about the K-POSTN assay as it becomes available on our website ( In the meantime, if you’d like to sign up to receive updates on this assay, please register your interest by sending an email to


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.


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.


Only a third of vertebral fractures receive clinical examination, despite having huge negative impacts on daily life. Decreased bone strength and quality is the hallmark of osteoporosis which leads to an increased risk of fragility fractures in the elderly. Fractures have a large impact to the patient: relatively uncomplicated fractures such as wrist fractures are usually associated with devastating pain and mild disability, while severe fractures, such as hip fractures usually lead to hospital admissions and operative procedures and most importantly an increased mortality risk. It has been estimated that approximately 50% of women and 15-27% of men will suffer from an osteoporotic fracture during their lifetime. Data shows that osteoporosis affects more than 200 million people worldwide, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation.

Current methods used to determine individuals at high risk of fractures include Bone Mineral Density (BMD) and the Fracture Risk Assessment Tool Algorithm (FRAX), with the eventual addition of bone turnover markers. The Bone density test is the only test that can diagnose osteoporosis before a broken bone occurs (by a central DXA machine). However these methods lack sensitivity and specificity in the identification of individuals at high fracture risk.
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