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Owlstone Medical Partners With UK Clinics to Develop Breath Tests for Digestive Health

NEW YORK ─ Owlstone Medical on Tuesday announced agreements with Functional Gut Clinic and Functional Gut Diagnostics that aim to improve the diagnosis of digestive diseases by developing breath tests on Owlstone Medical's Breath Biopsy platform.

Cambridge, UK-based Owlstone Medical said the partnership seeks to combine its expertise in breath testing with the expertise of Functional Gut Clinic and Functional Gut Diagnostics in digestive health to enable at-home breath testing through a UK Lab Services Agreement. The firms also aim to accelerate the development of future breath tests for digestive health through a collaboration agreement, Owlstone Medical said.

Financial and other terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.

According to Owlstone Medical, UK-based Functional Gut Clinic operates three clinics in Manchester, London, and Cambridge and has satellite clinics around the UK. It aims to enable fast diagnosis and management of gastrointestinal conditions. Functional Gut Diagnostics was established to complement the clinical activity already underway at Functional Gut Clinic, and aims to provide diagnostic technologies, test equipment, analysis, research, and training to enable patient care in functional gastroenterology and disorders of the gut-brain axis.

Owlstone Medical said that the UK Lab Services Agreement seeks to support Functional Gut Diagnostics' at-home small intestine bacterial overgrowth and food intolerance offering in the UK and help scale operations through laboratory testing and sample kit manufacturing at Owlstone Medical's UK headquarters.

The collaboration was established to expand the menu of available breath-based tests and aims to discover, validate, and commercialize tests by linking volatile organic compounds detectable in breath samples to digestive health disorders. Under the agreement, Functional Gut Diagnostics will make tests that have been developed available to clinical customers in the UK. Commonwealth Diagnostics International, based in Salem, Massachusetts, part of a Functional Gut Diagnostics joint venture, is expected to make tests available in the US, Owlstone Medical said.

Anthony Hobson, director of Functional Gut Diagnostics and Functional Gut Clinic, said in a statement that the partnership with Owlstone Medical will enable the efficient scaling of hydrogen/methane breath testing. Hydrogen and methane are well-established breath-based biomarkers in small intestine bacterial overgrowth and food intolerance, Owlstone Medical said.