Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN) inked a deal with Owlstone Medical to use the diagnostics company’s breath biopsy device to identify biomarkers for asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, the companies announced today.
Owlstone’s ReCiva breath sampler, which has CE Mark clearance in the E.U., captures volatile organic compounds in a patient’s breath. A VOC profile can be used to non-invasively diagnose disease at a very early stage and monitor treatment response, according to Owlstone.
AstraZeneca and Owlstone hope to identify disease phenotypes of COPD and asthma to better target effective treatments to the right groups of patients, the companies 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 breath biopsy can identify novel biomarkers for asthma and COPD and to optimize their application in precision medicine,” Owlstone co-founder & CEO Billy Boyle said in prepared remarks.
AstraZeneca isn’t the only pharma player that Owlstone has partnered with; in November last year, the company announced that GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE:GSK) planned to use the breath biopsy system in a phase II trial of its COPD drug, danirixin.
Steve MacMillan took over as CEO of Hologic in 2013, drawing on his experience at medtech titans like Stryker and Johnson & Johnson. Since then, Hologic has grown into a $3 billion business.
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