Both Hound Labs solutions use the same core breath technology to efficiently capture human breath samples and measure minute concentrations of particles in breath. This core technology can be easily adapted to many applications that require measurement of particles in picograms (parts per trillion) – such as detecting disease and biomarkers for various illnesses.
The HOUND MARIJUANA BREATHALYZER is portable and provides test results in minutes on location. The HOUND COVID-19 BREATHALYZER was created to meet the needs of hospitals and clinics. The company created the form factor of the Covid-19 solution specifically with patient care in mind. The product can easily be wheeled from room to room and contains additional space for batteries and supplies to enable the rapid testing of many people without the need for re-supply. The Covid-19 breathalyzer results will be processed in a lab until development is complete on a point-of-care product.
The first phase of product development has been focused on demonstrating the ability to collect breath samples from patients on location (both hospital and outpatient settings) to measure Covid-19. The goal is to develop a point-of-care solution to provide rapid on-site results for the measurement of Covid-19 levels in breath.
Hound Labs received initial funding from the state of New York to further develop the HOUND COVID-19 BREATHALYZER. Our CEO, Dr. Lynn, and Dr. Zucker, the Health Commissioner of the state of New York have known each other for many years. Dr. Lynn reached out to Dr. Zucker in February 2020 hoping that Hound Labs technology could be helpful to Dr. Zucker and New York. Dr. Zucker referred the Hound Labs team to scientists in the New York health department who vetted the research proposed by Hound Labs. After receiving IRB and New York approval of research protocols, the Hound Labs team traveled to New York in May.
Originally, the research was to be conducted in an outpatient setting; however, the Hound Labs team was instead directed to use the HOUND® COVID-19 BREATHALYZER in a hospital with the consent of the very sickest patients. Dr. Lynn and a team of Hound Labs researchers traveled to New York where Dr. Lynn personally met with patients to explain the research and the breathalyzer. Unfortunately, many were too sick to participate in the study. The Hound Labs team conducted enough research to validate that the HOUND COVID-19 BREATHALYZER could capture breath samples that contained aerosolized SARS-CoV-2 molecules.
When the Hound Labs team returned, they continued to conduct research in outpatient settings within the state of California with the help of New York. The research consistently showed the ability to detect Covid-19 in the breath of younger individuals (under 30 years of age) - both symptomatic and asymptomatic people who underwent both nasal swab and breath testing. The research demonstrated that approximately 40% of the patients with Covid-19 positive nasal swabs, also had detectable SARS-CoV-2 in their breath.
The data from the research is interesting because of the presence of Covid-19 in the breath of asymptomatic younger patients. Is this why the virus spreads so rapidly on college campuses? How does this finding support existing research that younger people aerosolize breath particles differently than older ones? Is there a linkage between super spreaders and the presence of Covid-19 in breath? Hound Labs is now actively seeking a partner to conduct clinical studies to answer questions raised by the HOUND COVID-19 BREATHALYZER research.
Super spreaders are thought to be approximately 10-20% of infected people, yet super spreaders account for 80-90% of infections. SARS-CoV-2 captured in breath with the HOUND COVID-19 BREATHALYZER is the first direct documentation of exhaled SARS-CoV-2 and may be important to identifying super spreaders. A comprehensive clinical study using the HOUND COVID-19 BREATHALYZER is a critical next step.
Hound Labs is currently seeking partners to help fund and conduct clinical trials to better understand the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in younger patients (< 30 years of age) and to compare that with older patients. The clinical study would involve the HOUND COVID-19 BREATHALYZER and contact tracing.
The contract with the state of New York ended on November 1, 2020 and is not applicable to funding a clinical trial.
Hound Labs will continue to conduct research with the HOUND COVID-19 BREATHALYZER and will work with strategic partners to conduct large-scale clinical studies to further uncover the implications of measuring Covid-19 breath. In addition, Hound Labs will bring the commercial version of the HOUND MARIJUANA BREATHALYZER to market this year.
Hound Labs has not yet applied for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA to sell or use the HOUND COVID-19 BREATHALYZER in the general public but may in the future.