Owlstone Launches New Generation of Tools to Support ID of Disease Biomarkers on Person’s Breath

Iqra Mumal, MSc avatar

by Iqra Mumal, MSc |

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Owlstone Medical announced that it has introduced a new ReCIVA Breath Sampler and CASPER Portable Air Supply, designed to support researchers working to identify disease biomarkers and to measure levels of known volatile organic compounds (VOCs) on a person’s breath.

Confirmed biomarkers provide valuable information to both clinicians and researchers about a disease and patient response to treatment.

According to the company, its proprietary Breath Biopsy platform is the only commercially available breath-based biomarker discovery program available.

Earlier this year, Owlstone announced a collaboration with Actelion Pharmaceuticals to develop a breath-based diagnostic test for different types of pulmonary hypertension.

Breath biopsy measures the chemical composition of breath via measurements of VOCs, gas molecules that can be sampled rapidly and in a non-invasive manner from breath.

VOCs are produced as the final product of metabolic processes that occur within the body. Changes that occur in metabolic activity can produce specific patterns of VOCs that are characteristic of specific diseases.

Because it is important to be able to reliably measure VOCs, especially in low concentrations, Breath Biopsy allows researchers to detect and exclude VOC contaminants from the environment, reducing background “noise” and obtaining more reliable results, the company reports.

CASPER is an integral part of making Breath Biopsy reliable and consistent. Its new design is said to offer benefits over the last version, including joining the airflow pump and filter into a single casing that is connected to the ReCIVA Breath Sampler.

The new CASPER also allows easy replacement of filter cartridges, and warns the user when the filter needs to changed or if there are any temperature or airflow problems.

Owlstone Medical has also installed new software that can help monitor the user’s breathing and VOC collection through ReCIVA. Additional changes include an easy-to-use user interface, as well as the ability to set different levels of access to settings for different users.

The company is working on how to improve the ergonomics, ease-of-use, and robustness of the ReCIVA Breath Sampler.

“Our Breath Biopsy platform and our ability to discover and validate breath-based biomarkers is the foundation of our business, underpinning both our revenue-generating research products and services, and our Breath Biopsy test development efforts,” Billy Boyle, co-founder and CEO at Owlstone Medical, said in a press release.

“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,” Boyle added.