Owlstone Medical Among Finalists in IPF Catalyst Challenge

Owlstone Medical Among Finalists in IPF Catalyst Challenge

Owlstone Medical is a finalist in the IPF Catalyst Challenge competition for $1 million in funding for advanced idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis research.

The Catalyst Challenge aims to engage worldwide entrepreneurs and innovators in tech, healthcare and scientific research to come up with new ways to improve the quality of life for IPF patients and caregivers.

According to a company news release, if Owlstone wins the prize, the funding will be used to advance its Breath Biopsy platform, a tool designed to analyze exhaled breath and search for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) related to IPF.

By identifying VOC biomarkers linked to the disease, the Breath Biopsy platform might provide earlier diagnoses of IPF, enabling timely treatment and preventing debilitating loss of lung function.

Even though treatments like Esbriet (pirfenidone), developed by Genentech, have been shown to slow or stop disease progression, by the time patients start showing symptoms, significant and irreversible damage to the lungs has already taken place. Owlstone researchers sought to fill this gap by finding a tool that can lead to an IPF diagnosis earlier. That way, treatment can begin before the disease starts taking its toll on patients’ quality of life.

Additionally, unlike current primary diagnostic methods, such as high-definition computer tomography (HDCT) scans, Breath Biopsy is designed to not carry any risks associated with X-ray exposure and to be a non-invasive and inexpensive tool for detecting IPF at an early stage.

Owlstone published a free e-book with more information about Breath Biopsy called “Breath Biopsy: The Complete Guide.”

Winners of the $1 million prize will be announced on Jan. 24, 2018. The  finalists besides Owlstone are:

For more information about the event on Jan. 24 and how to participate, please visit this link.


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