Owlstone launches breath biopsy kits

Diagnostics firm Owlstone Medical has announced the launch of its breath biopsy kits, a new diagnostic tool capable of detecting biomarkers of disease in the breath.

Cambridge-based Owlstone said the product can also detect breakdown products of drugs by analysing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in the breath.

The product range will allow academic, clinical, and pharmaceutical researchers to quickly discover and validate breath-based biomarkers in early detection and precision medicine research.

VOC biomarkers present in breath can be analysed with high sensitivity and selectivity in Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy Services Laboratory, or in a researcher’s own laboratory.

Owlstone said its ReCIVA breath sampler and new breath biopsy kits are designed to ensure consistent and reliable collection of breath samples.

There are three versions of the product – breath biopsy collection kits enabling researchers to collect reliable breath samples that can be analysed in their own labs, and breath biopsy discovery VOC kits allowing for analysis by Owlstone’s lab. Third, breath biopsy target VOC kits include breath collection equipment and a targeted analysis to enable biomarkers to be validated by Owlstone’s experts.

Dr Stephen Fowler, senior lecturer and honorary consultant in respiratory medicine at the University of Manchester said: “The European asthma research innovation partnership recently highlighted the potential of VOCs to assist phenotyping asthma and predicting major clinical outcomes such as exacerbations and response to treatment. Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy Discovery VOC kits could help overcome a major road block for the large-scale studies that are required to get breath into clinical practice by facilitating standardisation of both sampling and analytical methods.”

Owlstone is also developing breath tests for the early detection of lung and colorectal cancer, and has a clinical diagnostics and screening pipeline, including the world’s largest breath-based clinical trials.

Its breath biopsy technology is also being used in the PAN cancer trial, a collaboration with Cancer Research UK studying the early detection of eight different cancer types in breath.