Owlstone Medical selected as finalist in IPF Catalyst Challenge

Published on: 11 Jan 2018, under Breath Biopsy

Owlstone Medical® have been chosen as finalists in a competition for $1 million of funding for life-changing research into Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). The IPF Catalyst Challenge aims to engage global innovators and entrepreneurs in the tech, healthcare, and scientific research communities to find quality-of-life solutions for IPF patients and their caregivers.

If awarded a prize, Owlstone Medical will undertake research using the Breath Biopsy® platform, which will be used to analyse exhaled breath, looking for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) related to IPF. By identifying VOC biomarkers linked to the disease, it may be possible to use Breath Biopsy to detect IPF earlier,  enabling timely treatment and preventing debilitating pulmonary function loss.

Novel drugs exist (notably Pirfenidone) that can effectively slow or even halt the progress of IPF. However, by the time the disease’s symptoms manifest, significant and irreversible damage to the lungs has already occurred. If it were possible to diagnose IPF at an earlier stage, treatment could begin at a time before the disease affects patients’ quality of life.

The current primary diagnostic method, HDCT, (high definition computer tomography) is effective but not a viable method for widespread use because of the cost and risks associated with X-ray radiation. If an effective, widely-deployable, non-invasive and inexpensive means of detecting IPF at an early stage was available, it would be a game-changer.

The winners of the prize will be announced on 24th January 2018.


Update: Owlstone Medical has been announced as a winner!

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