Owlstone Medical has announced a strategic partnership with Actelion Pharmaceuticals.

The global leader in Breath Biopsy for applications in early disease detection announced the collaboration to discover and validate a breath-based test to help facilitate the early diagnosis of pulmonary hypertension and its subtypes. This development program will be solely funded by Actelion.

Currently, early diagnosis of PH is very difficult, and even at an advanced stage presents similar to other heart and lung conditions, so a delay of years between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis and treatment is unfortunately common.

The collaboration will initially involve collecting breath exhaled Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from over 1,000 patients using Owlstone Medical’s proprietary sampling device, which will then be analysed by Owlstone Medical to identify those that are associated with PH, in order to develop biomarker signatures that can help facilitate earlier detection of the disease.

Billy Boyle, co-founder and CEO at Owlstone Medical, said: “Owlstone Medical was founded with the objective of improving the early diagnosis of disease in order to save lives through the application of Breath Biopsy.

He continued to explain that the partnership will be “focused on improving the lives of those suffering from pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary arterial hypertension, and represents a tremendous opportunity to do just that. This is particularly true in underdiagnosed areas such as pulmonary hypertension, where early diagnosis is difficult and so screening has to be simple, reliable, and cost effective”

“We believe Breath Biopsy will deliver a program from discovery through to the launch of a test to the market, and this novel approach will make a real difference for the healthcare of patients suffering from pulmonary hypertension.”

Pulmonary hypertension is a progressive cardiopulmonary disease where the blood pressure increases in the vessels that transport blood from the heart to the lungs, placing strain on the right side of the heart and often leading to heart failure.