financial concept, business and moneyOwlstone Medical, a diagnostics company developing a breathalyser for disease, has announced that it has successfully raised $11.55 million financing.

The investment round was led by existing investors and will be used to commercially launch the company’s breath biomarker R&D services, including the opening of a new high volume clinical facility, and to fund ongoing clinical trials in lung and colon cancer screening.

The funding follows the original investment of $7 million that spun Owlstone Medical out in June 2016.

Owlstone Medical is leveraging proprietary and proven Field Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometry (FAIMS) technology in its disease breathalyser product range. FAIMS measures volatile organic compound (VOC) metabolites in patient’s breath or bodily fluids which are specific to disease. Measurement of VOC biomarkers allows non-invasive diagnosis of disease at a very early stage, to enable more effective treatment and better patient outcomes.

Billy Boyle, cofounder and CEO at Owlstone Medical, commented: “Securing this funding is further validation of our FAIMS technology and breath biopsy as a new diagnostic modality. We’ve made fantastic progress in our LuCID lung cancer trial, which will recruit up to 3000 patients across 21 sites in the UK and Europe, making it the world’s largest breath-based study ever undertaken for early cancer detection.  The commercial launch of our R&D services will, for the first time, allow clinical and pharma partners to easily identify breath biomarkers for novel diagnostics and precision medicine applications.”

Regius Professor Christofer Toumazou, adviser to Medtekwiz and Non-Executive Director of Owlstone Medical, said: “Owlstone Medical has made tremendous progress in clinical trials for the diagnosis of colon and lung cancer, which are two of the biggest cancer killers worldwide. I am delighted that with this additional investment we are a step closer to making breath biopsy a reality for patients.”

The potential of the technology to enable rapid detection of disease, without the need for costly, invasive medical procedures, has seen Owlstone Medical’s breath sampling and analysis technology recently named Invention of the Year in the 2017 Top 50 in Digital Health Awards.

Hosted by Rock Health, Fenwick & West, Goldman Sachs, and Square 1 Bank in the run up to the J.P. Morgan Conference, the accolade recognises exceptional progress in bringing technological advancements to healthcare.