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Cleveland Clinic, Owlstone Medical Partner, Establish Early Disease Detection Center

NEW YORK – Cleveland Clinic Innovations (CCI) and Owlstone Medical said today that they are establishing the Center for Early Disease Detection to investigate the use of tests that measure and quantify volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath in combination with noninvasive biomarkers from saliva and blood, among other body fluids. 

Financial and other terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.

CCI, the commercialization arm of Cleveland Clinic, said it anticipates using the center to investigate the early detection of multiple diseases, including chronic conditions and cancers. Cambridge, UK-based Owlstone told 360Dx that the partners anticipate collaborating on "numerous projects" within the center.

Owlstone's Breath Biopsy platform is based on the detection of volatile organic compounds as metabolic markers of cells undergoing biochemical reactions.

In the first project, the partners will focus on the discovery of breath biomarkers for chronic liver diseases and liver-related cancers. They aim to identify VOCs in breath that can be used as biomarkers for the early detection of multiple forms of liver disease and to distinguish between them, CCI said. The study, expected to run for about 12 months, will include patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, colorectal liver metastases, and patients with cirrhosis but no malignancies.

Federico Aucejo, a physician in Cleveland Clinic's Digestive Disease & Surgery Institute, and Daniel Rotroff, an assistant professor of medicine in Cleveland Clinic's Lerner Research Institute, are leading the study.

CCI said it expects to also use the new center to compare the value of various systems used to collect and identify breath metabolites. It said that Cleveland Clinic researchers had previously linked VOCs to acute alcoholic hepatitis, diabetes, acute decompensated heart failure, pulmonary arterial hypertension, C. diff infection, and liver disease.