Owlstone Medical launches Breath Biopsy AOC Atlas built with diverse breath samples

December 7, 2022 - 3 minutes
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Owlstone Medical, a U.K. company working in breath biopsy for applications in early disease detection and precision medicine has announced the launch of the Breath Biopsy AOC Atlas. This is a catalogue of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found on breath.

The Atlas provides insight and scientific context into the molecules, supporting biomarker discovery through incorporation into Owlstone’s Breath Biopsy OMNI platform.

The Breath Biopsy VOC Atlas has been built through detailed analysis of breath samples representing a diverse mix of ages and ethnic backgrounds to identify and quantify commonly seen chemicals originating from breath. At more than 150 chemicals and growing, Owlstone says the Breath Biopsy VOC Atlas represents the largest available database of identified VOCs on breath, their normal levels, and biological interpretation.

Breath Biopsy largest available database

This is a promising field that has grown rapidly over the last 20 years yet the rate of novel biomarker discovery and conversion to clinical tests has stayed low. Biomarker discovery has traditionally been performed using untargeted methods, looking at differences between levels of chemicals in large patient populations.

High-cost, low throughput and high false discovery rates are some of the disadvantages. A superior approach involves performing biomarker studies starting from a set of known compounds on interest, however in breath the list of reliable and validated chemicals is very limited, a problem Atlas was designed to address.

The Atlas will form the basis of future biomarker discovery at Owlstone through incorporation into OMNI. By now being able to analyze VOCs with baseline chemical levels known, alterations related to disease can be more easily recognized and developed into biomarkers.

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Owlstone’s test development efforts

Further, reduced variability, improved data quality and higher throughput will provide the best chance to identify biomarkers in customer studies and Owlstone’s own test development efforts.

Billy Boyle, co-founder and CEO at Owlstone Medical, said: “Owlstone Medical is leading the way in overcoming the challenges that, to date, have held the breath field back such as better breath collection and much lower backgrounds from the ReCIVA Breath Sampler and CASPER Portable Air Supply, part of OMNI, the most advanced solution for reliable global breath VOC analysis.”

He continued: “Our vision is to be the leading source for biomarker discovery on breath, and the addition of Atlas to the OMNI platform allows identification of promising VOCs with a higher degree of confidence. In this way, we further enhance our ability to provide the best discovery solutions available to customers and maximize the chances of finding biomarkers with the potential to be translated into clinically valuable tests.”

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