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20 February, 2019 - 10:15 By Kate Sweeney

Owlstone disease breathalyser fights lung cancer in China

A disease breathalyser developed by Owlstone Medical in Cambridge is going into clinical trials in China in a bid to aid early detection of lung cancer.

The UK diagnostic pioneer is collaborating on the trial with Renji Hospital in Shanghai, with support from the Li Ka Shing Foundation.

Recognising the escalating incidence of lung cancer in China, the parties have agreed to jointly conduct a first of its kind clinical trial in China to be led by Professor Li-wei Wang, director of oncology at Renji Hospital.

As part of the initiative a Breath Biopsy® laboratory will be established to support the study. Renji Hospital will provide operational support for the study and Owlstone Medical will provide its Breath Biopsy® technology, including breath collection stations, analytical instrumentation, and the procedures and training necessary to support the lab’s operation.

Beyond this study, the lab will support additional research investigations in cancer and other areas.

Dr Li-wei Wang, director of Oncology, Renji Hospital said: “Healthcare systems around the world are increasingly recognising that better and more reliable approaches to the early detection of disease is one of the most effective ways to support patients and to control healthcare costs.

“Breath-based diagnostics have the potential to revolutionise the way that this challenge is approached and we are very pleased to be partnering with Owlstone Medical to establish the first Breath Biopsy lab outside of the UK.

“We are hopeful that our collaboration will result in screening tools that meaningfully help combat lung cancer and other diseases in China and globally.”

Billy Boyle, co-founder and CEO at Owlstone Medical, added: “Expansion into China through the establishment of an in-country Breath Biopsy lab and formation of high value partnerships is an important part of Owlstone Medical’s strategy, significantly as access to the large healthcare networks present has the potential to substantially accelerate clinical trials.

“Renji Hospital is a leader in cancer and other areas of medical research and represents an ideal partner for us. Through its affiliation with the Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, and with over 50,000 inpatients per year, the studies undertaken in this newly established Breath Biopsy lab will prove to be a significant driver of our goal to save 100,000 lives, and we are excited to begin.”

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