Owlstone Medical wins NHS contract for STRATA

Published on: 16 Feb 2016, under Breath Biopsy

Owlstone Medical wins NHS contract for STRATA, adapting its disease breathalyzer technology for precision medicine and companion diagnostics (CDx)

Cambridge, UK, 16th February 2016: Too many asthma patients are currently on the wrong medication. Every year there are 54,000 emergency hospital admission and 1,167 deaths in the UK. In STRATA (Stratification of Asthma Treatment by Breath Analysis), Owlstone Medical is adapting our existing disease breathalyzer technology to stratify asthma patients to match them to the right treatment first time. In doing so, we will reduce emergency hospital admissions by 30%, save the NHS £81M over 5 years and most importantly save lives.

A contract was awarded to Owlstone Medical under the Innovate UK Stratified Medicine SBRI, which will invest up to £10m to promote the development of new diagnostic products and services for use in stratified medicine.

Billy Boyle, said: “This an an extremely exciting development for Owlstone Medical, firmly taking our medical breathalyzer technology into the rapidly growing field of precision medicine. By matching the right patient to the right treatment we can make an immediate impact in the NHS and the lives of patients. It also allows us to work with pharmaceutical companies developing new drugs for airways diseases, who need novel non-invasive companion diagnostics (CDx) to maximise the chances of approval for these therapies.”

A key aim of the Stratified Medicine SBRI is to accelerate commercial adoption by engaging enabling UK infrastructure. Owlstone Medical is working with world leading clinical partners, MRC EMBER and the Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative (DEC) London to bring this live saving innovation to patients sooner.

Professor George Hanna said: “The importance and impact of diagnostics within healthcare continues to gain momentum in healthcare research. New and informative ways of stratifying patients to best treatment have been acknowledged as an important method of best resource utilisation in the NHS. Breath analysis aims to contribute to this effort through the efficient use of NHS resources by providing a new diagnostic method, which has many potential clinical applications. Through the collaboration of Owlstone Medical and the NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative London we have a unique opportunity to streamline the evaluation and adoption pathway of this technology to translate it to the bedside where it can benefit clinical care and improve patient experience. ”

Professor Salman Siddiqui said “this is exciting for asthma patients as current asthma therapies are stratified to inflammatory disease in the airway. The development of breath diagnostics of airway inflammation, that are point of care, offers great promise in both primary and secondary care asthma populations. The STRATA funding will be further underpinned by a new award from the MRC to the University of Leicester and Loughborough to develop breath diagnostics as a new form of pathology.”

Asthma UK is working with Owlstone Medical to ensure the needs of people with asthma are at the core of STRATA. Dr Samantha Walker, Director of Policy and Research at Asthma UK adds: “We are delighted to see investment in this exciting project to bring us closer to offering more targeted, personalised care for people with asthma. Every ten seconds someone in the UK is having a potentially life threatening asthma attack which is why we need much more investment into asthma research to help us understand the condition better and develop life-changing treatments to stop asthma attacks and ultimately, cure asthma.”

About Owlstone Medical

Owlstone Medical has developed a breathalyzer for disease.
Our Vision: Owlstone Medical will become the global leader in non-invasive diagnostics for cancer, infectious disease and inflammatory disease.
Our Mission: Save 100,000 lives and save $1.5B in health care costs by 2020. www.owlstonemedical.com #save100klives


Too many asthma patients are currently on the wrong medication. Every year there are 54,000 emergency hospital admission and 1,167 deaths in the UK. In STRATA (Stratification of Asthma Treatment by Breath Analysis), Owlstone Medical is adapting our existing disease breathalyzer technology to stratify asthma patients to match them to the right treatment first time. In doing so, we will reduce emergency hospital admissions by 30%, save the NHS £81M over 5 years and most importantly save lives. http://www.owlstonenanotech.com/strata

About SBRI Healthcare programme

SBRI Healthcare is an NHS England initiative, championed by the Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs).


The Diagnostic Evidence Co-operative London is a partnership between Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Imperial College London. We are one of four national centres of expertise funded by the National Institute of Health Research. Our Centre is based at Imperial College London, St Mary’s Hospital and is led by Professor George Hanna, Head of the Division of Surgery. The overall aim of our Centre is to develop world-class methods, generate evidence and integrate in vitro diagnostics into clinical practice.


The East Midlands Breathomics Pathology Node (EMBER) has been established with a £2.5 million grant from the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to develop breath-based systems for molecular pathology. EMBER draws upon expertise in clinical research, analytical chemistry, data management and mathematical modelling of complex data across the East Midlands from University of Leicester, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust and Loughborough University together with industry to develop rapid, near patient non-invasive approaches to diagnosis, phenotyping and stratification. The consortium hopes to establish a multidisciplinary world-class centre that is driving the discovery, development, validation and adoption of non-invasive technologies to characterise disease signatures based upon the molecular analysis of breath.

About Asthma UK

We work to stop asthma attacks and, ultimately, cure asthma by funding world leading research and scientists, campaigning for change and supporting people with asthma to reduce their risk of a potentially life threatening asthma attack.

Professor George Hanna: As director of the NIHR Diagnostic Evidence Cooperative London, Prof George Hanna coordinates a multidisciplinary team responsible for generating evidence (user research, human factors and health economics) to support integration of the product into clinical practice. NIHR DEC London works with leading clinicians, scientists, patient groups, industry, regulatory organisations and NHS commissioners to support the product design process through the iterative process of invention, design development and evaluation. Particular expertise in human factor research, systems risk assessment, stakeholder analysis, decision analysis and system design, patient safety and barriers to implementation are integrated to enhance product design, development and integration. George Hanna is Professor of Surgical Sciences and Head of the Division of Surgery. His clinical work is based at St Mary’s Hospital and includes oesophageal and gastric cancer and advanced laparoscopic surgery. The current interests of his laboratory revolve around volatile organic compounds analysis for biomarker discovery and understanding the molecular drivers of volatile compounds in an attempt to develop a noninvasive breath test to diagnose oesophageal and gastric cancer.

Professor Salman Siddiqui is a professor of respiratory medicine and airways disease at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester UK. Salman has a major interest in the pathogenesis of small airway diseases and phenotyping of disease with a current focus on asthma. He leads the Leicester NIHR Respiratory BRU theme for phenotyping and biomarkers, is on the steering board for the international ATLANTIS small airway program, is a work package lead for small airways for the ICT funded AirPROM-FP7 consortium, is the translational work package lead for the MRC-EMBER breath molecular pathology node and is co-investigator in Owlstone Medical’s LUCID lung cancer programme. Clinically Salman coordinates the largest severe asthma clinic in Europe at Glenfield Hospital, Leicester and is the lead for the bronchial thermoplasty program.

Dr Stephen Fowler (MD FRCP) – Senior Lecturer and Honorary Consultant in Respiratory Medicine. Breath Analysis in Respiratory Disease: Leads a research theme investigating the clinical utility of metabolomic profiling of volatile organic compounds in the exhaled breath of patients with respiratory disease. Developed a methodology for targeted sampling of the exhaled breath, enabling the breath profile to be mapped using expiratory pressure; obtained proof of principle in asthma and COPD (published in Thorax and Respiratory Research) Asthma: Clinical interest and expertise lies in asthma and airways diseases. I am investigating the application of breath analysis in this as noted above, but also undertaking other (mainly clinical) research to aid understanding and treatment in this area. Clinical PI for Manchester in the €22m UBIOPRED IMI consortium, which aims to characterise and discover novel phenotypes in severe asthma. Support NIHR portfolio and pharma clinical trials in severe asthma at both Preston and South Manchester.

Owlstone newsletter CTA

Talk to us about your biomarker research and how Breath Biopsy could help.

Contact Us