QUB spinout ProAxsis has been fully acquired by NetScientific, which previously backed the company’s sole funding round in 2014.

ProAxsis, a UK-based diagnostics technology spinout of Queen’s University Belfast, has been acquired by commercialisation firm NetScientific for an undisclosed amount.

NetScientific already owned a 56.4% majority stake in the business and has now purchased all remaining shares from tech transfer office Qubis as well as co-founders Lorraine Martin and Brian Walker.

Founded in 2013, ProAxsis has created a point-of-care test called Neatstik to detect neutrophil elastase and proteinase 3 – biomarkers of lung infection and inflammation in a range of chronic respiratory diseases such as cystic fibrosis – and identify patients at risk of worsening airway bacterial infections.

Martin and Walker had launched the spinout to advance their research at the School of Pharmacy. They have stepped down as directors following the acquisition, though David Moore, head of spinouts and investments at Qubis, will remain on the board of directors.

ProAxsis raised an undisclosed amount from NetScientific and Qubis in 2014, seemingly its only funding round. Its regulatory filing for the financial year ending December 2019 showed it had £142,000 ($188,000) in its share premium account.

Ilian Iliev, chief executive of NetScientific, said: “In line with the group’s strategic review and stated plans, ProAxsis is an example of the strong commercialisation potential of spinout companies from UK universities such as Queen’s University Belfast.

“This provides an early investment realisation opportunity for the company’s two co-founders, Prof Lorraine Martin and Prof Brian Walker, while allowing the company to continue and accelerate its growth.

“In line with NetScientific’s pro-active management, increasing our stake in ProAxsis via these agreements will enable us to provide the necessary support required to maximise the company’s value and help the company capture synergies within our broader ecosystem in this growing sector.”