An electronic capsule that measures gasses in the gut to radically change the diagnosis of bowel disorders could be available within four years after an agreement between the Australian RMIT University and Atmo Biosciences.
The commercial license agreement, which gives the start-up exclusive rights to commercialize the technology developed by RMIT, makes it possible to follow Phase 2 clinical trials.
The worldwide patented technology can detect and measure gaseous biomarkers in real time to improve the diagnosis of bowel diseases affecting one in five people in their lives.
The electronic gas detection capsule, which will come on the market in 2022, offers a rapid, non-invasive diagnosis of these common and debilitating conditions, which in 30% of patients are still undiagnosed.
When the capsule is swallowed, it passes through the gastrointestinal system and sends information via a handheld device and mobile app to the cloud so that doctors can examine them, allowing targeted treatment, earlier relief of symptoms and lower healthcare costs.
In addition to conducting phase II trials in humans, Atmo Biosciences – an early phase of the leading health technology and innovation company Planet Innovation – will work on improving existing technology and expanding the range of gases that the capsule can detect.
Researchers will focus on biomarkers related to bowel diseases, including bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine (SIBO), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and ulcerative colitis, a form of IBD that the US health care system $ US19 billion years.
RMIT, vice chancellor research and innovation and vice president, Professor Calum Drummond, said the agreement was a milestone in the delivery of groundbreaking medical technology to patients and physicians.
"RMIT research is based on the desire to create a positive impact for our communities through innovation and collaboration," Drummond said.
"We are excited about this opportunity to translate our research into products and services and look forward to getting Atmo Biosciences to take this technology out of our laboratories and into the broader community."
The RMIT research team behind the technology was led by Professor Kourosh Kalantar-zadeh (co-inventor and Atmo chief scientific advisor), Dr. ir. Kyle Berean (co-inventor and Atmo Chief Technology Officer), Dr. Adam Chrimes (Atmo principal engineer) and Nam Ha (Atmo principal engineer).
Atmo Biosciences CEO Mal Hebblewhite said he expected a strong demand for the capsule.
"Worldwide, one in five people suffer from a gastrointestinal disorder during their lifetime and nearly a third of these cases remain unresolved, often because of problems with the diagnosis," said Hebblewhite.
"The Atmo Gas Capsule has the potential to bridge this gap by providing the ability to identify previously undiagnosed conditions, which will provide relief to the millions of patients who suffer daily without targeted therapy to alleviate their symptoms."
Dr. Kyle Berean, research assistant at RMIT's School of Engineering and Atmo CTO, said that Phase 1 human studies had shown that the capsules were safe and reliable, with results revealing that the capsule was more than 3000 times more accurate than breath tests at the detecting gas biomarkers.
"We know that breath tests suffer from high percentages of false-positive and false-negative diagnoses and we know that gas concentrations in the intestine are up to 10,000 times higher than those in the breath," said Berean.
"By measuring hydrogen, carbon dioxide and oxygen produced by the gut right at the source, our capsule offers vastly more accurate results and unprecedented signal / noise ratios compared with breath tests."
Gas-detecting bowel pill beats the diagnosis of the breath test