Owlstone Medical, Cambridge, UK, has entered into a collaboration with Mayo Clinic. The company’s field asymmetric ion mobility spectrometer (FAIMS) technology is being used in a clinical trial to evaluate its performance as a rapid, point-of-care test to assess the adequacy of bowel preparation noninvasively prior to colonoscopy.

Owlstone Medical lonestar crop640Colonoscopies are among the most common gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures, with approximately 14 million procedures performed annually in the United States. It is estimated that up to a quarter of these procedures have inadequate bowel preparation, resulting in the need for repeat colonoscopies or increasing the risk that diagnosis of disease, such as colorectal cancer, will be missed.

In a pilot study, volatile organic compound (VOC) biomarkers emitted from preprocedural stool samples were captured and analyzed using Owlstone Medical’s Atlas headspace sampler and Lonestar VOC analyzer, a FAIMS sensor platform. Results demonstrated that the company’s technology is able to identify patients inadequately prepped for colonoscopy with 100% sensitivity and 80% specificity.

Following the successful pilot study, Mayo Clinic and Owlstone Medical have embarked on a larger clinical trial under the guidance of gastroenterologists Liam Zakko, MD, and Kenneth Wang, MD. The trial aims to evaluate FAIMS technology as a preendoscopic test to ensure that colonoscopies are performed only when patients are adequately prepped, thus reducing the number of unsuccessful colonoscopy procedures and enabling disease such as colorectal cancer to be diagnosed more effectively.

Billy Boyle, Owlstone Medical.

Billy Boyle, Owlstone Medical.

“It is a privilege to be working with one of the leading cancer centers in the US and to have achieved such promising results from our initial pilot study together,” says Billy Boyle, cofounder and CEO at Owlstone Medical. “The work not only validates our technology for use in clinical practice but also demonstrates its scope for wide medical application using other biospecimens in addition to breath.”

For more information, visit Owlstone Medical.