Local Client Wins Major Innovation Prize

Many congratulations to our client Owlstone Medical Limited, who are the proud winners of the Royal Academy of Engineering 2018 MacRobert Award.  The Award was presented to Owlstone by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal at a ceremony at the Tower of London last week.

The MacRobert Award provides the winning organisation with a gold medal and a cash price of £50K to the individuals concerned.  The MacRobert Award is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious in the UK.  It was first presented in 1969 and previous winners include EMI (for their invention of the CT scanner), Cambridge Display Technologies, and Raspberry Pi.

Owlstone have won the award for their ReCIVA® breath sampling system.  This system integrates hardware and software to capture breath samples from human subjects in a robust and reproducible manner to permit the detection of unique volatile organic compounds (“VOCs”) which act as markers of a variety of diseases.  As VOC levels change at the very earliest stages of disease and provide information on the current activity of cells and tissue, the breath samples could lead to earlier diagnosis of diseases such as cancer when treatments are more effective and more lives can be saved.  Breath biomarkers also have the potential to revolutionise the way medicine is prescribed, as they could be used to monitor drug effectiveness and match patients to the correct treatment, and cut healthcare costs by lowering drug wastage.

Dr Dame Sue Ion DBE FREng FRS, Chair of the MacRobert Award juding panel, said: “Owlstone Medical stood out because of the extraordinary engineering its breath sampler, and the associated breath biopsy platform, required to bring these technologies to life.  The company has demonstrated exceptional innovation at every stage of development; from the mask used to help capture breath, the tubes that help collect the samples, to the software and hardware designed to ensure the tests are reliable and repeatable.

Owlstone Medical has now created a device that is dependable and non-intrusive, and has the potential to revolutionise the way we diagnose and treat a vast array of diseases.  The societal benefit is clear to see, and I believe they could realise their vision of saving more than a billion dollars in global healthcare costs and saving hundreds of thousands of lives.”

Nash Matthews are very proud to be associated with such an innovative company and wish Owlstone Medical continued success.