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Owlstone Medical to provide breath biomarker services for 4D Pharma

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Owlstone Medical to provide breath biomarker services for 4D Pharma

March 07
12:13 2017

Diagnostics company, Owlstone Medical, who is developing a breathalyser for disease has announced it has signed a master service agreement with pharmaceutical company 4D Pharma.

The agreement will see 4D Pharma using Owlstone Medical’s Biomarker Services to discover novel non-invasive biomarkers present in breath that can be applied to the development of effective therapeutics for a wide range of diseases from cancer, to gastrointestinal, autoimmune, and respiratory conditions.

The pattern of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) present in exhaled breath is directly linked to the metabolic processes taking place within the body as well as exogenous sources such as an individual’s microbiome, the many millions of bacteria that colonise the body and play an important role in health and disease.

4D Pharma is developing live biopharmaceutics, a class of medicines that utilise the functionality of the microbiome. The company is using Owlstone Medical’s Biomarker Services to identify novel VOC biomarkers in breath for use in disease diagnosis and stratification to match patients to the most appropriate treatment.

Breath biopsy samples will be collected from patients at 4D Pharma’s clinical trial site using Owlstone Medical’s ReCIVA Breath Sampler. Breath samples stored in stable sorbent tubes are then transferred to Owlstone Medical’s service laboratory in Cambridge, UK, for VOC analysis using the company’s FAIMS platform to analyse spectral data and develop classification algorithms.

Billy Boyle, co-founder and CEO at Owlstone Medical, said: “Our Biomarker Services draw on the experience we have developed through our pioneering work on Breath Biopsy technology and the large breath biomarker clinical trials we are running as part of our own clinical pipeline. We are excited to enable 4D Pharma to discover VOC biomarkers for patient stratification in their own therapeutic programs.”

Professor Paul O’Toole at 4D Pharma Cork said: “We are very pleased to initiate this Breath Biomarker Services project with Owlstone Medical. VOCs in breath provide incredibly valuable information about the health of an individual as well as potentially reflecting the metabolism of their microbiome. As such, VOC biomarkers show great potential for patient stratification and could help us to determine which patients would benefit most from our live biotherapeutics.”

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