Owlstone Medical introduces upgrades to breath biopsy tech


Owlstone Medical has introduced a new portable air supply and breath sampler to its breath biopsy technology.

The UK-based firm’s technology measures volatile organic compounds in the breath, aiming to diagnose a wide range of diseases including pulmonary hypertension and cancer.

Using breath biopsy has obvious advantages over conventional invasive techniques, allowing for diagnoses without an invasive procedure, as well as ongoing monitoring of a patient’s changing condition.

Breath biopsy would also be far less labour intensive and therefore less costly than invasive biopsy procedures.

Owlstone has developed a proprietary technology that enables it to identify biomarkers for certain diseases in the breath.

Certain diseases create volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the breath, and by measuring these tell-tale traces it is possible to diagnose a range of diseases.

In a statement the company said it has tweaked its technology with a new ReCIVA breath sample, and a revised CASPER portable air supply.

By helping to exclude VOC contaminants from the environment and reduce background, CASPER improves accuracy and consistency of biopsies.

The new CASPER includes a range of benefits over its predecessor including uniting the airflow pump and filter into a single casing that connects directly to the ReCIVA breath sampler, the use of filter cartridges which can be easily replaced, and active warnings when the filter cartridge needs changing, or of temperature or airflow issues.

Owlstone has also implemented new software to monitor subject breathing and VOC collection through ReCIVA, including a simpler user interface and the ability to set different levels of access to settings for different users.

Work is also ongoing to improve the ergonomics, ease-of-use, comfort, and robustness of the ReCIVA Breath Sampler.

Billy Boyle, co-founder and CEO at Owlstone Medical, said: “Continued investment in our industry-leading platform is therefore an important component of our strategy, and we are very pleased to announce the launch of the new CASPER and ReCIVA and to be able to deploy these technologies into our internal development programs and to make them available to our customers.”