Owlstone Medical and Shanghai Hospital to pioneer breath biopsy lung cancer trial in China



Owlstone Medical Ltd., a global diagnostics company developing a breathalyzer for applications in early disease detection and precision medicine, and Shanghai Renji Hospital, today announced a collaboration to conduct a clinical trial into the early detection of lung cancer with support from the Li Ka Shing Foundation.

Recognizsng the escalating incidence of lung cancer in China, Owlstone Medical and Renji Hospital have a mutual interest in developing and making accessible diagnostics for the early detection of disease, which can result in the reduction of health care costs to patients and providers, and an overall increase in survival rates. The two parties have therefore agreed to jointly conduct a first of its kind clinical trial in China into the early detection of lung cancer, to be led by Professor Li-wei Wang, Director of Oncology at Renji Hospital.


In conjunction, a Breath Biopsy® laboratory will be established to support the study. Renji Hospital will provide operational support for the study, and Owlstone Medical will provide its Breath Biopsy® technology, including breath collection stations, analytical instrumentation, and the procedures and training necessary to support the lab’s operation. Beyond this study, the lab will support additional research investigations in cancer and other areas. 


Dr Li-wei Wang, Director of Oncology, Renji Hospital said: “Healthcare systems around the world are increasingly recognizing that better and more reliable approaches to the early detection of disease is one of the most effective ways to support patients and to control healthcare costs. Breath-based diagnostics have the potential to revolutionize the way that this challenge is approached and we are very pleased to be partnering with Owlstone Medical to establish the first Breath Biopsy lab outside of the UK. We are hopeful that our collaboration will result in screening tools that meaningfully help combat lung cancer and other diseases in China and globally.”

Billy Boyle, co-founder and CEO at Owlstone Medical, commented: “Expansion into China through the establishment of an in-country Breath Biopsy lab and formation of high value partnerships is an important part of Owlstone Medical’s strategy, significantly as access to the large healthcare networks present has the potential to substantially accelerate clinical trials. Renji Hospital is a leader in cancer and other areas of medical research and represents an ideal partner for us. Through its affiliation with the Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, and with over 50,000 inpatients per year, the studies undertaken in this newly established Breath Biopsy lab will prove to be a significant driver of our goal to save 100,000 lives, and we are excited to begin.”

Image: Signing ceremony - from left to right in the back: Director of Scientific Research at Renji Hospital - Jianqing Ding; Consul to British Consulate General Shanghai - James McGuire; Executive Director of Li Ka Shing Foundation - Solina Chau; President of Renji Hospital - Mr. Weiping Li is the signing representative

What is Breath Biopsy®?

Breath Biopsy represents an entirely new way to measure the chemical makeup of breath by measuring volatile organic compounds (VOCs), 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 that 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 Renji Hospital (https://www.renji.com/):

Renji Hospital, founded in 1844, is the first hospital practicing western medicine in Shanghai. With four campuses respectively in Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern Shanghai and the Shanghai Cancer Institute, Renji Hospital is a municipal hospital with a comprehensive list of medical and surgical disciplines, devoted to patient care, medical education and scientific research. In October 2010, Shanghai Cancer Institute, consists of State Key Laboratory of Oncogenes & Related Genes, Cancer Epidemiology Laboratory, 11 related research groups, public service platform of auxiliary department and magazine of Oncology merged with Renji Hospital.

Altogether, there are currently 2,250 authorized beds in four campuses and 55 clinical departments: Department of Gastroenterology, Cardiology, Neurosurgery, Rheumatology, Nuclear Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Gynecology Oncology, Urology, Nephrology, Anesthesiology, Pain Management, Critical Care Medicine, Radiology, Gastrointestinal Surgery, Liver Surgery, Biliary and Pancreatic Surgery, Breast Surgery, Vascular Surgery, Head and Neck Surgery, Hematology, Geriatrics, Ultrasound, Neurology, Endocrinology, Orthopedics, Orthopedics-Spine Surgery, Orthopedics- Bone & Joint Surgery, Orthopedics-bone trauma, Respiratory, Otorhinolaryngology, Orthopedics, Ophthalmology, Reproductive Medicine, Radiology, Pharmacy, Health Care, Blood Transfusion, Clinical Laboratory, Pediatrics, Rehabilitation, Stomatology, Dermatology, Oncology, Emergency Department, Thoracic Surgery, Cardiovascular Surgery, Pathology, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Clinical Nutrition, Internal Medicine Clinic, Infectious Diseases, Tumor Interventional Section, Functional Neurology, Allergy Division and Psychology.

In recent years, the number of scientific research projects has been growing year on year, including the State 973 Program, 863 Program and Key National Natural Science Foundation projects, etc. The hospital was laureated many national awards such as National Science and Technology Awards, Chinese Medical Association Awards of Science and Technology, etc. The hospital has also established partnership with medical schools and hospitals in Canada, US, France, Belgium, UK, Australia and etc.

To read more information, click here.

Owlstone Medical Limited

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 directory information