Owlstone Medical enters collaboration to advance early disease detection using non-invasive breath biopsy


07-11-2019

Owlstone Medical, the global leader in Breath Biopsy® for applications in early disease detection and precision medicine, today announced it has partnered with Thermo Fisher Scientific, the world leader in serving science. The collaboration seeks to advance the application of non-invasive breath sampling to address the challenges of the early detection of disease and the precision medicine delivery of healthcare through the discovery and validation of novel biomarkers.

Under the agreement, both parties will work to integrate the Thermo Scientific™ Q Exactive™ GC Hybrid Quadrupole-Orbitrap™ Mass Spectrometer into Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy platform. An initial project will seek to qualify the mass analyzer for the detection of new biomarkers via a validated discovery and routine analysis project. Upon successful completion, the technology will then become a standard part of Owlstone Medical’s biomarker discovery process, whereby metabolomic studies are conducted on breath samples for internal programs, or on behalf of pharmaceutical or academic clients, to discover novel biomarkers that could translate into research and clinical tests. The work will take place at Owlstone Medical’s Cambridge, UK, Breath Biopsy laboratory.

“There is clearly a growing need for non-invasive diagnostic solutions to support the early detection of disease.” said Morten Bern, senior director marketing, chromatography and mass spectrometry, Thermo Fisher Scientific. “The integration of our Orbitrap GC-MS technology with Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy platform provides a unique basis to improve patient outcomes through the discovery of breath biomarkers and their incorporation into clinical practice.”

Billy Boyle, co-founder and CEO at Owlstone Medical, said: “The GC Orbitrap platform’s ability to detect a wide range of chemicals during both targeted and untargeted analyses without losing selectivity or sensitivity, promises to be of substantial benefit to our Breath Biopsy platform. With a large and rapidly expanding installed base of GC Orbitrap systems, our partnership with Thermo Fisher Scientific represents an exciting opportunity for cross-promotion of the platform and technique, by which the benefits of Breath Biopsy can be broadly realized.”

Further to the scientific and technical expertise, this collaboration will be supported by a joint marketing and customer support effort to ensure the global reach of the Breath Biopsy platform.

 

What is Breath Biopsy®?

Breath Biopsy represents an entirely new way to measure the chemical makeup of breath by measuring volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are gaseous molecules that can be sampled quickly and non-invasively from breath and enabling whole-body sampling. These compounds are produced as the end product of metabolic processes within the body, meaning underlying changes in metabolic activity can produce particular patterns of VOCs characteristic of specific diseases.

VOCs originating from all parts of the body are captured in breath, making Breath Biopsy applicable to a wide range of diseases including cancer, inflammatory disease, infectious disease, metabolic disease, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease. The nature of Breath Biopsy, and VOC biomarkers, make them perfectly suited to addressing two of the major challenges of healthcare today: early detection and precision medicine.

Breath collection is carried out using Owlstone Medical’s ReCIVA Breath Sampler, which ensures reliable, reproducible collection of VOCs. Subjects breathe a controlled supply of air, and samples of their exhaled breath are captured and stabilized on Breath Biopsy Cartridges, which can then be shipped for analysis with Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy analytical platform, using mass spectrometry or FAIMS to determine their VOC profile. Advanced data analytic techniques can then be applied in order to pinpoint the VOCs of interest.


About Owlstone Medical:

Owlstone Medical’s vision is to save 100,000 lives and $1.5 billion in healthcare costs by realizing the enormous promise of breath-based diagnostics through the development and application of Breath Biopsy®. Breath Biopsy operates by detecting volatile organic compounds (VOCs) produced as the end product of metabolic processes within the body or as a result of chemicals from external sources such as diet or medication, changes in which can be characteristic of specific disease or indicate environmental exposure.

The Breath Biopsy platform includes ReCIVA®, a proprietary sample collection device that can take stable breath samples anywhere, the world’s only commercial Breath Biopsy Laboratory located in Cambridge, UK, and the development of the world’s largest Digital Breath Biobank matched to patient phenotype.

Owlstone Medical is deploying the platform to address some of the key challenges of 21st century healthcare. The focus is on the early detection of disease with an emphasis on cancer, with clinical trials underway to develop breath tests for the early detection of lung and colorectal cancer, and on precision medicine through partnerships with large pharmaceutical companies including AstraZeneca, Actelion Pharmaceuticals (a J&J company), and GlaxoSmithKline to enable therapeutics to be deployed more effectively. Owlstone Medical’s technology is currently in use at over 100 sites worldwide.

 

 

The Owlstone detector is a revolutionary dime-sized device that can be programmed to detect a wide range of chemical agents that may be present in extremely small quantities. Using leading-edge micro- and nano- fabrication techniques, Owlstone has created a complete chemical detection system that is one hundred times smaller and one thousand times cheaper than existing technologies.

Owlstone Medical Limited