Selecting the right treatment for severe asthma patients by replacing the trial and error approach
Funded by an Innovate UK grant, Owlstone Medical is conducting research into the use of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in patients' exhaled breath as a way to select the best treatment.
Too many asthma patients are currently on the wrong medication. In the STRATA programme, Owlstone Medical will adapt our existing disease breathalyzer technology to stratify asthma patients and match them to the correct existing treatments first time. As a result we will bring lasting benefit to patients, minimize costs for the NHS and make a positive impact on the annual toll of 54,000 asthma-related emergency hospital admissions and 1,167 asthma-related deaths. You can download an insightful infographic about STRATA here.
total number of asthma sufferers in the UK
250,000 people in the UK have uncontrolled severe asthma. Every year there are 56,000 admissions to hospital and 1,167 people will die.
total yearly spending by the NHS to treat and care people with asthma
£30m is spent by the NHS each year on advanced medication but 30% of patients don't respond to the treatment.
of hospital admissions for asthma are preventable
Also 90% of the deaths for asthma are preventable. There is an urgent need to develop innovative diagnostic tools to match the right patient with the right treatment
Harnessing the information contained in breath
Every time we breath out there are hundreds of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) on our breath. Some of these volatile biomarkers are used to distinguish clinical phenotypes in asthma and predict who will respond to currently available treatments.
Introducing FAIMS, revolutionary science at the nanoscale
At Owlstone we have developed a chemical sensor on a silicon chip 100x cheaper and 1000x smaller than existing technologies: the FAIMS chip. We use this technology to detect volatile biomarkers of asthma.
With the support of U-BIOPRED
U-BIOPRED is a European consortium (Unbiased Biomarkers for the Prediction of Respiratory Disease Outcomes) investigating severe asthma. At the 2015 European Respiratory Society Conference they reported how Owlstone Medical's technology could be used to stratify asthmatic patients into sub-groups, according to which type of treatment they are most likely to benefit from.
Through combining the ReCIVA breath sampler and the FAIMS technology Owlstone Medical is uniquely positioned to provide a clinically-deployable solution for asthma stratification.
In future, the STRATA breath test will be conducted in a hospital, the samples sent to a central laboratory and results returned electronically.
Owlstone Medical and Imperial College collaborate to study underlying causes of asthma exacerbations