Cancer killed 8.8 million people in 2015 alone. It is a stark reality that 1 in 2 of us will get cancer. From our parents to our partners, our children, our grandchildren – 1 in 2 will get cancer. We must find better ways to treat cancer, but more importantly better ways to detect cancer earlier, when chances of a cure are dramatically higher. Every time you breathe out there are thousands of chemicals on your breath, some of these are markers of cancer. This talk will provide an overview of the research currently being undertaken in Cambridge by Owlstone Medical Ltd using our Breath Biopsy® platform to “sniff” out these chemical markers to detect cancer earlier. Our greatest opportunity lies not in developing new drugs but increasing rates of early diagnosis through improved cancer screening.
Speaker Profile Billy Boyle is an engineering graduate from the University of Cambridge. He is one of the original co-founders of Owlstone Inc, spun out of Cambridge in 2004, which has raised $28M in investment and won >$25M in defence contracts. He initially worked with silicon foundries in the design and fabrication of the core microchip technology and is co-inventor on 19 patents. He then assumed a commercial role with P&L responsibility for the Scientific Instruments and Industrial business units; responsible for sales of FAIMS products and contracts with >150 clients globally, including Agilent, Thermo, Roche Diagnostics, Samsung, GSK , 4D Pharma, Mayo Clinic and the NHS . Billy started to focus on the medical applications of FAIMS technology after his wife, Kate, was diagnosed and later died of colon cancer as a result of a late diagnosis. He worked closely with clinical partners who integrated FAIMS technology across a broad spectrum of clinical trials in cancer, inflammatory disease & infectious disease. After positive clinical trial results he headed up the newly formed Medical business unit, which won a £1M NHS contract for LuCID to use FAIMS technology in the early detection of lung cancer. With ongoing clinical and commercial success, Billy led the process to spin out Owlstone Medical Ltd and became the founding CEO upon the close of a $7M investment in March 2016. The mission of Owlstone Medical is to save 100,000 lives and $1.5B in healthcare costs. Billy was made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2020.