Owlstone Medical closes $7m investment to commercialise disease breathalyser


Investment will fund ongoing clinical trials in lung and colon cancer screening

Owlstone Medical, a diagnostics company, has been spun out of parent company, Owlstone Inc. to develop and commercialize a breathalyser for use in clinical diagnostics and precision medicine with applications in cancer, inflammatory and infectious disease.

Based in Cambridge, UK, the company has successfully raised $7m in financing. The investment round was led by Medtekwiz Advisory and will be used to fund ongoing clinical trials of the breathalyser in lung and colon cancer screening.

Owlstone Medical has been created to leverage proprietary and proven Field Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometry (FAIMS) technology for the advancement of a disease breathalyser. FAIMS measures volatile organic compound (VOC) metabolites in patient’s breath or bodily fluids which are specific to disease. Measurement of VOC biomarkers allows diagnosis of disease at a very early stage, to enable more effective treatment and better patient outcomes.

Billy Boyle, co-founder and CEO at Owlstone Medical, commented: ‘Securing this funding is further validation of our technology, and we are excited to progress our vision to revolutionise the detection and diagnosis of cancer, infectious and inflammatory diseases. The breathalyser we are developing provides clinicians with a highly sensitive, non-invasive diagnostic, which will enable early detection and improve patient outcomes. We are also working with pharma partners to develop non-invasive companion diagnostics to better match patients to treatment for emerging personalised therapies.’

Regius Professor Christofer Toumazou, adviser to Medtekwiz and recently appointed to the Owlstone Medical Board, said: ‘I am delighted to have joined the Board and to be involved at such a milestone in the development of the company. With the investment, I look forward to seeing a step change in the way serious disease can be diagnosed and monitored, and particularly for colon and lung cancer, which are two of the biggest cancer killers worldwide.’

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Owlstone CEO and Owlstone Medical board member, Bret Bader, commented: ‘We are very pleased to have completed this transaction with Medtekwiz. Owlstone has developed a revolutionary platform technology that promises to change the delivery of chemical detection solutions in markets that range from defense to medical diagnostics. This transaction and the creation of Owlstone Medical is a template for our strategy of creating market specific spinouts to take a focused approach to solve profound problems.’