Owlstone Medical said today that it raised $11.6 million to help fund its disease breathalyzer device. The round was led by existing investors and follows an original investment of $7 million that spun the Cambridge, England-based company out in June last year.
The funds will be used to commercially launch Owlstone’s breath biomaker R&D services, as the company opens a new high volume clinical facility and continues its ongoing clinical trials in lung and colon cancer diagnostics.
Owlstone’s breathalyzer uses field asymmetric ion mobility spectrometry to detect volatile organic compound metabolites in a person’s breath or bodily fluids. Volatile organic compound biomarkers can be used to non-invasively diagnose disease at a very early stage, according to the company, which could get a patient into treatment earlier than conventional diagnostic screening methods.
“Securing this funding is further validation of our FAIMS technology and breath biopsy as a new diagnostic modality,” co-founder & CEO Billy Boyle said in prepared remarks. “We’ve made fantastic progress in our LuCID lung cancer trial, which will recruit up to 3,000 patients across 21 sites in the UK and Europe, making it the world’s largest breath-based study ever undertaken for early cancer detection. The commercial launch of our R&D services will, for the first time, allow clinical and pharma partners to easily identify breath biomarkers for novel diagnostics and precision medicine applications.”
“Owlstone Medical has made tremendous progress in clinical trials for the diagnosis of colon and lung cancer, which are two of the biggest cancer killers worldwide,” non-executive director Christofer Toumazou added. “I am delighted that with this additional investment we are a step closer to making breath biopsy a reality for patients.”