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9 April, 2018 - 10:31 By Tony Quested

AstraZeneca and Owlstone explore power of disease breathalyser

Owlstone Billy Boyle

Cambridge-based pharma giant AstraZeneca is trialling neighbour Owlstone Medical’s disease breathalyser as a potential diagnostic for respiratory complaints.

The UK life science duo are collaborating to explore how breath can identify novel biomarkers to help differentiate between disease phenotypes relevant for asthma and COPD.

The Cambridge partners believe the technology could be a key advance in delivering precision medicine to patients. They argue that by identifying disease phenotypes and treatable traits, the underlying heterogeneity of obstructive lung diseases can be explored.
 
Owlstone believes its technology offers a rapid, non-invasive approach to identify breath-based biomarkers that could help to stratify and monitor patients so they receive the correct therapy at the optimum dosage.

Chronic respiratory disease, including asthma and COPD, is a substantial health and economic burden globally often causing reduced quality of life and premature death for sufferers. 

An estimated 334 million people worldwide have asthma and 251 million suffer from COPD.

Billy Boyle, co-founder and CEO at Owlstone Medical, said: “This agreement with AstraZeneca demonstrates our unrivalled expertise in breath biomarkers. Through our breath biopsy services we are well positioned to assist the AstraZeneca team to explore how our technology can identify novel biomarkers for asthma and COPD and to optimise their application in precision medicine.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Billy Boyle

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