Owlstone Secures Share of £12.7m SBRI Healthcare Funding

Published on: 13 May 2014, under Breath Biopsy

Funding to Develop Lung Cancer Diagnostic Technology

Owlstone have been awarded an SBRI Healthcare development contract, which will fund in-house development and testing of Owlstone’s Lonestar Analyzer, for use in the diagnosis of lung cancer. Following the Nokia Sensing XChallenge distinguished award secured in 2013, this funding will further efforts to apply Owlstone’s chemical sensing technology in the medical sector.

Owlstone’s medical technology works by measuring trace amounts of tell-tale chemicals in breath and bodily fluids that show that patients are suffering from certain conditions. In the case of lung cancer, these so-called biomarkers are particular carbonyls (aldehydes and ketones). This contract will allow Owlstone’s technical team to show that these compounds can be detected using Owlstone’s Lonestar Analyzer.

At present, chemical analysis of breath is usually performed in a laboratory, using large, expensive and relatively slow mass spectrometry-based equipment. Lonestar, by contrast, is a less expensive, ion mobility spectrometry-based system that is already small enough to deploy in doctors’ surgeries. It provides results in minutes, and so has the potential to revolutionize patients’ healthcare experiences.

Commenting on the funding award, Owlstone CEO Bret Bader said, “Owlstone technology has the potential to make a life changing difference in the medical sector. This funding will help us turn that potential into reality.”

About SBRI Healthcare: The Small Business Research Initiative for Healthcare (SBRI Healthcare) is an NHS England initiative, championed by the newly formed Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs), who aim to promote UK economic growth whilst addressing unmet health needs and enhancing the take up of known best practice. Part of Innovation Health and Wealth, the SBRI Healthcare programme sets industry the challenge in a series of health related competitions which result in fully funded development contracts between the awarded company and the NHS. Unlike many R&D projects which offer grant or match funding, SBRI contracts are 100 per cent funded and the company retains the IP.

This work was commissioned and funded by NHS England. The views expressed in the publication are those of the author(s) and not necessarily that of the funding partners.