Alpha Szenszor and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have formed a joint venture for the commercialisation of advanced lung cancer diagnostics based on volatile organic compound detection from human breath. The two organisations plan to merge expertise to commercialise an economically viable, non-invasive, digital tool for the early diagnosis of lung cancer.
Alpha Szenszor is an e-nose diagnostics company based on carbon nanotube (CNT) sensor chips. The company has leveraged decades of consumer electronics integration and an extensive IP portfolio to offer direct digital detection of trace gases in low ppb concentrations using low cost, scalable, manufacturing processes. The ASI CNTnose also eliminates the need for cumbersome optical fluorescence and amplification techniques typically employed in biological testing, thus greatly reducing reagent costs and improving response time and portability.
Founded in 1912, Technion claims to be the oldest university in Israel and has an outstanding reputation in technology transfer. It has 18 academic departments and 52 research centres. Pilot laboratory and clinical studies through Technion's Laboratory for Nanomaterial-Based Devices (LNBD) have demonstrated the feasibility to diagnose and classify several diseases, including lung cancer, from exhaled breath using advanced spectrometry techniques, as well as an array of nanomaterial-based sensors, developed and patented by the same team.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more people with lung cancer die than any other type of cancer. In the US in 2009, 205,974 people were diagnosed with lung cancer. Business Monitor International's Burden of Disease Database estimates that the number of disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost to lung cancer in the US was 1.40 million in 2012, and is expected to rise by 1.3 per cent to 1.41 million in 2020. This is a big market to enter and if the joint venturecan fully develop a point-of-care diagnostic test for the detection of lung cancer, it could prove lucrative for Alpha Szenszor.