The "E-Nose" Holds Out Promise for Detecting Lung Cancer, Pneumonia and
other Pulmonary Disease Simply and Quickly to Enable Life Saving Early
NEW DELHI, India, Nov. 7, 2011 /CNW/ - A new hand-held device called the
Electronic Nose, which has the potential to diagnose tuberculosis (TB)
in symptomatic patients, was awarded a $950,000 grant from Grand
Challenges Canada and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today to
support further development and testing of this ground-breaking
technology. The funding will help determine whether the Electronic Nose
is able to detect TB immediately and non-invasively from the patient's
breath, in order to replace time-consuming testing with sputum. It is
estimated that up to 400,000 lives a year can be saved in the
developing world by early diagnosis, immediate treatment and reduced
transmission of this killer disease.
TB has been all but eliminated in the developing world, but in poor
countries it claims close to 1.7 million lives yearly and is second
only to HIV/AIDs as the world's most deadly infectious disease.
"This important discovery is testimony to the power of innovation to
save lives," said Dr. Peter Singer, CEO of Grand Challenges Canada.
"Diagnosing TB and other pulmonary disease simply by testing a
patient's breath is a bold idea with potentially big impact."
The development of the Electronic Nose is a collaboration between the
International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in New
Delhi, India, and Next Dimension Technologies in California. The New Delhi innovators are working with sensors
developed in California to track biomarkers in the breath. Those
biomarkers may hold promise to identify TB disease, leading to earlier
diagnosis and improved patient treatment.
"We hope to take the concept of the Electronic Nose to the next level by
developing and testing a prototype of the hand-held, battery-powered
device," said Prof. Virander Chauhan and Dr. Ranjan Nanda, lead
researchers. "Our goal is to make the Electronic Nose widely available
in poor, remote areas where tuberculosis often breeds and spreads,
devastating so many lives."
Scientists say Electronic Noses could also be created for early
detection of lung cancer and pneumonia, based on signature biomarkers
of that disease detectable in a patient's breath.
"Grand Challenges Explorations aims to tackle critical health and
development challenges by funding creative, high-risk concepts that
show the greatest potential for impact," said Chris Wilson, Director of
Global Health Discovery at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "With
this additional phase of funding, we're excited to move the most
promising projects closer to products that could ultimately save
millions of lives."
"Imagine detecting tuberculosis through a person's breath and the number
of people who can be saved," said Joseph L. Rotman, Chair of Grand
Challenges Canada. "We are pleased to support this discovery and,
through Grand Challenges Canada's Integrated Innovation approach, to
ensure rapid patient utilization and commercialization, so that the
Electronic Nose is available, cost-effectively."
Grand Challenges Canada is funded by the Government of Canada through
the Development Innovation Fund announced in the 2008 Budget. Grand
Challenges Canada works in a consortium with Canada's International
Development Research Centre and the Canadian Institutes of Health
For more information, visit grandchallenges.ca
About Grand Challenges Canada
Grand Challenges Canada is a unique independent not-for-profit
organization dedicated to improving the health and well being of people
in developing countries by integrating scientific, technological,
business and social innovation. Grand Challenges Canada works with the
International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and the Canadian
Institutes of Health Research (CIHR )and other global health
foundations and organizations to find sustainable long-term solutions
to the most pressing health challenges. Grand Challenges Canada is
hosted at the McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health.
About Canada's International Development Research Centre
The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) supports research
in developing countries to promote growth and development. IDRC also
encourages sharing this knowledge with policymakers, other researchers
and communities around the world. The result is innovative, lasting
local solutions that aim to bring choice and change to those who need
As the Government of Canada's lead on the Development Innovation Fund,
IDRC draws on decades of experience managing publicly funded research
projects to administer the Development Innovation Fund. IDRC also
ensures that developing country researchers and concerns are front and
centre in this exciting new initiative.
About Canadian Institutes of Health Research
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) is the Government of
Canada's health research investment agency. CIHR's mission is to create
new scientific knowledge and to enable its translation into improved
health, more effective health services and products, and a strengthened
Canadian health care system. Composed of 13 Institutes, CIHR provides
leadership and support to more than 14,100 health researchers and
trainees across Canada.
CIHR will be responsible for the administration of international peer
review, according to international standards of excellence. The results
of CIHR-led peer reviews will guide the awarding of grants by Grand
Challenges Canada from the Development Innovation Fund.
About McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health
The McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health is based at University
Health Network and University of Toronto. We develop innovative global health solutions and
help bring them to scale where they are most urgently needed. The
McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health hosts Grand Challenges
SOURCE Grand Challenges Canada
For further information:
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MS. LYN WHITHAM
Grand Challenges Canada
VP Communications & Stakeholder Relations