Owlstone Medical has announced a new collaboration with Thermo Fisher Scientific, in order to advance early disease detection using the company’s non-invasive breath biopsy technology.

The new partnership seeks to advance the application of non-invasive breath sampling to “address the challenges of the early detection of disease and the precision medicine delivery of healthcare through the discovery and validation of novel biomarkers.”

Under the agreement, the parties will work to integrate Thermo’s Q Exactive GC Hybrid Quadrupole-Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer into Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy platform, an initial project which will seek to qualify the mass analyser for the detection of new biomarkers via a validated discovery and routine analysis project.

If successful, the technology will then become a standard part of Owlstone Medical’s biomarker discovery process, whereby metabolomic studies are conducted on breath samples for internal programs to discover novel biomarkers that could translate into research and clinical tests.

There is “clearly a growing need for non-invasive diagnostic solutions to support the early detection of disease” said Morten Bern, senior director marketing, chromatography and mass spectrometry, Thermo Fisher Scientific.

He continued, “The integration of our Orbitrap GC-MS technology with Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy platform provides a unique basis to improve patient outcomes through the discovery of breath biomarkers and their incorporation into clinical practice.”

Breath Biopsy is a new way to measure the chemical makeup of breath by measuring volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are gaseous molecules that can be sampled quickly and non-invasively from breath and enabling whole-body sampling. VOCs originating from all parts of the body are captured in breath, making Breath Biopsy applicable to a wide range of diseases including cancer, inflammatory disease, infectious disease, metabolic disease, cardiovascular disease and respiratory disease.