University of Manchester and Owlstone Medical Receive £250,000 Asthma Research Grant

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The University of Manchester, and Owlstone Medical, a global diagnostics company developing a breathalyzer for applications in early disease detection and precision medicine, has announced the award of an £249,950 Asthma UK/Innovate UK grant for the improvement of asthma diagnosis.

Founded in 2004, based in Cambridge, UK, Owlstone Medical’s vision is to save 100,000 lives and $1.5 billion in healthcare costs by realising the enormous promise of breath-based diagnostics through the development and application of Breath Biopsy®. 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 and GlaxoSmithKline to enable therapeutics to be deployed more effectively. Owlstone Medical’s technology is currently in use at over 100 sites worldwide.

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The University of Manchester, established in 1824, is the UK’s largest single-site university with more than 40,000 students – including more than 10,000 from overseas. No fewer than 25 Nobel laureates have either worked or studied there. It is the only UK university to have social responsibility among its core strategic objectives, with staff and students alike dedicated to making a positive difference in communities around the world.

“Our partnership with the University of Manchester builds on prior work Owlstone Medical has done as part of the STRATA trial. Also funded and supported by Asthma UK and Innovate UK, STRATA was designed to conduct research into the use of VOCs in patients’ exhaled breath as a way to select the best individualized treatment. We remain committed to deploying Breath Biopsy to help the 5.4 million people with asthma in the UK and estimated 339 million worldwide who could benefit from personalized healthcare.” – Billy Boyle, co-founder and CEO at Owlstone Medical

“The treatment of asthma remains very challenging, not least because it is better considered a syndrome with many underlying causes, each of which may differ by optimal treatment. The emergence of new devices that enable biomarkers to be detected on breath however, has the potential to revolutionize asthma diagnosis, and we are very pleased to be working with Owlstone Medical on this important project.” – Dr Clare Murray, Clinical Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester and NIHR Manchester BRC Asthma Programme Associate Lead