NetScientific subsidiary strikes exclusive licensing deal with AstraZeneca
Life sciences investment company NetScientific announced on Monday that its subsidiary ProAxsis has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with AstraZeneca.
The AIM-traded firm said ProAxsis would take responsibility for completing the validation and global commercialisation of a SARS-CoV-2 - the virus responsible for the Covid-19 disease - serology enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) developed by an internal research team at AstraZeneca.
In return for providing access to the required intellectual property and technical know-how, AstraZeneca would receive a royalty fee on future global net sales of the assay.
NetScientific holds 95% of ProAxsis on a fully-diluted basis.
“We're excited to be involved with this assay to support such a key area of global healthcare need,” said ProAxsis chief executive officer Dr David Ribeiro.
“The research team at AstraZeneca have already completed significant optimisation and validation work, which has demonstrated the assay's high potential sensitivity and specificity of detecting SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
“ProAxsis will extend this work to support the identification of people who have raised antibodies against this challenging virus.”
John Clarkson, chairman of both Netscientific and ProAxsis, added that expanding the product portfolio and customer service offering were stated goals for ProAxsis, so both companies were “delighted” with the continued progress and reaching the “mutually-beneficial” agreement with AstraZeneca.
“Following the huge impact of the coronavirus pandemic on society, it's excellent news that we can play our part in the Covid-19 response and help deliver real benefits to the community, through the application of ProAxsis' expertise in respiratory assays.”
Ruth March, senior vice-president of precision medicine at AstraZeneca, said the development of the serology ELISA was an example of AstraZeneca's “comprehensive response” to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“This highly sensitive and specific blood test makes use of simple and convenient fingerstick sample collection that will be well suited to large scale deployment and has the potential to play an important role in antibody analyses in large populations.”
At 0921 BST, shares in NetScientific were up 23.6% at 92.7p.