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U of Minnesota start-up develops breath test for lung cancer

A University of Minnesota (UMN) start-up is commercializing a point-of-care breath test for lung cancer.

Vocxi Health is developing a test that uses highly sensitive biosensors and machine learning to analyze thousands of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in a single breath sample. The technology was developed by UMN researchers in collaboration with Boston Scientific.

While breath-based tests have been in development for years, they are often large and unwieldy, making them impractical for at-home use. According to CEO Ping Yeh, Vocxi’s technology could enable patients to take the test at home and have their “risk score” results sent immediately to a physician for review.  

In a study published in 2022, the technology showed 98 percent accuracy in detecting five analytes at four concentrations each. Vocxi has done clinical studies with “eye-opening” sensitivity and specificity, Yeh says, though exact values weren’t provided.

Vocxi aims to do more clinical testing as it prepares to commercialize the test, with plans to initially deploy the credit card-sized device at doctors’ offices and clinics before moving it to the home setting. The start-up is also examining other disease states in which the technology could be applied.

Source: 360dx

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