- Announced as one of three winners to share $1,000,000 (£720,000 GBP)
- Award recognizes real and innovative solutions to problems faced by Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis sufferers
Cambridge, UK, January 25, 2018: Owlstone Medical Ltd, a diagnostics company developing a breathalyzer for disease, today announced it is one of the three winners of the global Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) Catalyst Challenge, sharing the $1,000.000 (£720,000 GBP) award, each receiving $333,333 (£240,000 GBP). Selected from a short list of nine finalists, out of hundreds of registrants, the winners were announced last night in Chicago as part of the final phase of the Challenge.
Owlstone Medical Ltd won the award with its Breath Biopsy platform, a non-invasive system that can easily and accurately capture and analyze breath samples for the presence of trace chemicals related to disease activity. The proven technology will be applied to find volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in breath that could help speed up diagnosis of IPF, and catch the disease at an earlier stage. This would result in a major improvement for patients by enabling timely treatment and preventing the debilitating loss of pulmonary function.
IPF is a chronic, irreversible and incurable disease that kills as many people as breast cancer every year, however, it is less widely known, resulting in a lack of innovative solutions, funding and research. The IPF Catalyst Challenge was created by Three Lakes Partners, a venture philanthropy committed to ending IPF, 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. It is one of the largest healthcare competitions in the United States, and the first time a cash and incentive purse of this magnitude has been put in place to help people with IPF. Three Lakes Partners collaborated with MATTER, the healthcare technology incubator and innovation hub; IDEO an award-winning global design and innovation consultancy; and Common Pool, renowned for creating competitions to solve the world's most challenging problems to establish the competition.
“We created the IPF Catalyst Challenge on behalf of the countless patients around the world living with this largely ignored, heartbreaking disease. By collaborating with brilliant minds and innovative thinkers across the globe, we knew we could attack IPF from all sides and truly make progress,” said Ken Bahk PhD, Managing Director, Three Lakes Partners. “We couldn’t be more thankful for the inspiring ideas we saw over the course of this competition, and are honored to help bring our winners’ solutions to life. We’re excited for the promise that lies ahead.”
Billy Boyle, co-founder and CEO at Owlstone Medical, said : “We are thrilled to win this award which recognizes the potential of our Breath Biopsy platform for the early detection of IPF. Breath Biopsy is already being used in clinical trials for a wide range of cancers, including lung and colorectal cancer, and has recently been integrated into a major clinical development program for a novel drug candidate for respiratory disease . In taking this step towards a Breathalyzer for IPF, we look forward to making a similar contribution to finding quality of life solutions for this devastating disease, and continue to work towards our vision of saving 100,000 lives and $1.5B in healthcare costs.”
For more information on the IPF Catalyst Challenge, and the other winners, visit http://www.ipfcatalyst.com/.
Marc Van deer Schee pitches the idea from @OwlstoneNano - a system to capture breath samples and test for the presence of trace chemicals related to disease activity, for the early detection of #IPF #IPFChallenge pic.twitter.com/9RC8gODsOu— IPF Catalyst (@IPFCatalyst) January 24, 2018
Congratulations to Advanced Interactive Response Systems, @OwlstoneNano and @patientMpower - the winners of the $1 Million #IPFChallenge! It's ideas like yours that will enhance our understanding of #IPF and eradicate the disease in its entirety! pic.twitter.com/rMUu4QO0vg— IPF Catalyst (@IPFCatalyst) January 25, 2018
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About Owlstone Medical Ltd
Owlstone Medical has developed a breathalyzer for disease. With a focus on non-invasive early detection and precision medicine for cancer, inflammatory disease and infectious disease, the company aims to save 100,000 lives and $1.5B in healthcare costs.
Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy® platform is a new diagnostic modality capable of detecting disease biomarkers in breath. The award winning ReCIVA Breath Sampler ensures reliable collection of breath samples. VOC (Volatile organic compound) biomarkers present in breath are analyzed with high sensitivity and selectivity using proven microchip chemical sensor technology (Field Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometry, FAIMS).
The Breath Biopsy platform has the potential to revolutionize early detection and precision medicine, with applications in cancer and a wide range of other conditions. Breath Biopsy enables disease to be detected earlier, when treatments are more effective and more lives can be saved. By identifying patients most likely to respond to a particular therapy, Breath Biopsy can also ensure that the right therapy is given to the right patient at the right time, helping to reduce healthcare costs.
Owlstone Medical is currently developing tests for lung and colorectal cancer, two of the most common cancer killers worldwide, and for asthma stratification by therapeutic response. The company also provides Breath Biopsy products and services to academic, clinical and pharmaceutical partners who want to develop breath based biomarkers for their own applications.
Owlstone Inc was founded in 2004 as a spin-out from the Engineering Department at the University of Cambridge, and is a profitable business selling FAIMS technology to military and industrial customers globally. Owlstone Medical was spun out from Owlstone Inc in 2016 to develop and commercialize FAIMS in medical applications.
Owlstone Medical is headquartered in Cambridge, UK, with offices in London, UK.
About Three Lakes Partners
Three Lakes Partners, LLC is a venture philanthropy whose mission is to accelerate the development of promising technologies for Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). Three Lakes Partners provides not only financial support, but also operational leverage via partnership with a greater network of IPF resources worldwide. Visit www.threelakespartners.org for more information.
MATTER is a community of entrepreneurs, innovators, and industry leaders working together to harness technology to improve health and healthcare. MATTER incubates 200 healthcare technology startups, and the company partners with 11 hospitals and health systems, five universities, and more than 40 industry-leading companies. By equipping, empowering, and emboldening healthcare innovators, MATTER accelerates the development of technologies that solve the right healthcare problems in the right ways. For more information, visit www.matterchicago.com and follow @MATTERhealth
If you want to learn more about Owlstone Medical's Breath Sampling and Analysis technology, and our Biomarker Services, why not download our free ebook: Breath Biopsy: The Complete Guide?