Tony Blair hails Cambridge cancer breathalyser pioneer

Former UK Prime Minister, Tony Blair was in Cambridge today to open a new facility for disease breathalyser pioneer Owlstone Medical.

Kate Gross, the late wife of Owlstone CEO Billy Boyle, was a former Downing Street aide who ran Blair’s Africa charity. 

Blair today visited Owlstone’s Cambridge HQ to officially open the company’s new high volume clinical laboratory.

He learned more about the company’s Breath Biopsy® technology and its mission to save 100,000 lives and $1.5 billion in healthcare costs. He was also given a tour of Owlstone’s HQ including the new clinical lab and other research facilities.

The opening of a new clinical lab with increased capacity enables Owlstone Medical to offer high quality and high throughput biomarker services to academics, clinicians, pharmaceutical companies and CROs to identify novel breath biomarkers for disease diagnostics as well as precision medicine applications including therapeutic response, patient stratification and outcome prediction.

The clinical lab also provides VOC biomarker analysis of breath samples and other biospecimens from the on-going clinical trials in Owlstone Medical’s own clinical pipeline: early detection of lung cancer (LuCID), colorectal cancer (InTERCEPT) and treatment stratification in asthma (STRATA).

Billy Boyle said: “Our new high volume clinical lab follows the successful commercial launch of our biomarker services earlier this year and the announcement of our first clinical and pharma customers.

“Having a state-of-the-art and globally unique capability allows us to increase capacity to handle large service projects as well as support our ongoing clinical trials.”

Tony Blair added: “I congratulate Owlstone Medical on the opening of its new clinical lab. It was a pleasure to meet the dedicated staff of this successful, dynamic company, united in their clear vision to save lives. 

“The breath biopsy technology has huge potential to lead to great improvements in healthcare and I wish the team every success in developing a company that will become a leader in next generation diagnostics.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Billy Boyle with Tony Blair

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