Owlstone's LuCID project - a consortium made up of a number of leading academic institutions and clinical partners - has been awarded a million pounds of NHS funding to help diagnose lung cancer at an earlier stage when survival rates are dramatically better.
The LuCID (Lung Cancer Indicator Detection) project is researching the early, non-invasive diagnosis of lung cancer by measuring volatile organic compounds in patients' breath. The goal of the project is to save 10,000 lives and save the NHS £254m by 2020, through an increase in the early stage detection rate for lung cancer.
Phase I of the project is already completed; 12 markers of lung cancer were shown to be detectable by FAIMS technology - a cheaper and smaller alternative to existing detection technologies.
The new funding for Phase II will be targeted towards the delivery of a breath sampler, a customised breathalyser suitable for use in a doctor's surgery or hospital, and clinical validation of the method.
Commenting on the award Billy Boyle, co-founder of Owlstone, said: "If you could change only one thing in the fight against cancer, it would be to detect the disease earlier where existing treatments are already proven to save lives. FAIMS technology has the potential to bring a quick and easy to use breath test to a GPs office. Our team will not rest until we help stop the daily devastation that cancer brings to patients and their families."
About the SBRI Healthcare award
46 companies each receive up to £1 million funding in latest rounds of SBRI Healthcare programme.
SBRI Healthcare, an NHS England funded initiative to develop innovative products that address unmet health needs, today announced a further 46 small companies will share over £20 million development funding in the latest rounds of the programme. The award is across two competitions each of which represents a distinct product development phase with successful projects selected on their potential value to the health service, patient benefit and the opportunity to back thriving businesses.