Owlstone Medical Ltd., a Cambridge-based, world-recognized diagnostics company, has reportedly joined forces with Shanghai Renji Hospital in a bid to pioneer a clinical trial in China for the early discovery of lung cancer. Incidentally, the Li Ka Shing Foundation is said to be in support of the latest move.

This strategy by Owlstone Medical, in conjunction with Renji Hospital, comes along the heels of the rising incidence of lung cancer in the country. The two organizations are endeavoring to develop accessible diagnostics for the disease’s early detection that can lead to a decrease in healthcare costs incurred by patients and thereby, an increase in survival rates. Sources close to the development affirmed that the first-of-its-kind clinical trial is likely to be steered by Professor Li-wei Wang, Director of Oncology, Renji Hospital.

As per a press release by Owlstone Medical, a Breath Biopsy® laboratory will be set up to aid the planned clinical study. Owlstone Medical will offer its Breath Biopsy® technology that includes analytical instrumentation, breath collection stations and the essential training and procedures, while, Renji Hospital is anticipated to provide ample operational support for the study. Apparently, in addition to supporting the latest study, the laboratory will support more research investigations in cancer as well as other areas.

For the uninitiated, Breath Biopsy is an all-new way of measuring the chemical composition of breath with the evaluation of VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which are produced as the final product of metabolic processes in the body.

According to Dr. Li-wei Wang, the healthcare systems across the globe have recognized that more reliable approaches to early disease detection is one of the most effective ways for supporting patients and controlling healthcare costs. He further claimed that breath-based diagnostics can potentially evolve the way this challenge is approached and, therein expressed hopes for the collaboration to result in screening tools which can help fight lung cancer and other menacing diseases in China and outside.