“The proprietary science and engineering we use for our breathalyzer enables measurement of really small concentrations of substances making it ideal for a variety of different point-of-care solutions.”
~ Dr. Mike Lynn, CEO of Hound Labs, Inc.
What is the HOUND® COVID-19 BREATHALYZER?
During the month of April 2020, Hound Labs adapted the core breath capture technology in the HOUND® MARIJUANA BREATHALYZER to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus in breath. Since May, Hound Labs has been using the HOUND® COVID-19 BREATHALYZER to conduct ongoing research with human subjects.
Has the HOUND COVID-19 BREATHALYZER been successful?
Yes. The research with the HOUND COVID-19 BREATHALYZER has been successful. In May, our CEO, Dr. Lynn, and a team of scientists traveled to New York City in the height of the pandemic to determine if the SARS-CoV-2 virus could be detected in breath. Our research team was the 1st to measure the actual SARS-CoV-2 molecules in the breath of sick patients.
Why test breath for the SARS-CoV-2 virus?
First, detecting and measuring SARS-CoV-2 in breath is important because it demonstrates that the virus can be aerosolized and therefore more easily spread in the community. At the time that Hound Labs measured SARS-CoV-2 in breath, the prevailing theory was that Covid-19 was not aerosolized.
Second, the ability to measure Covid-19 in breath – both in symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals – may provide important clues to mitigating the spread of Covid-19. Research needs to be conducted on a large scale to validate the initial data set, but as a company we are optimistic that the Hound breath technology may help unravel some of the mysteries surrounding Covid-19 including whether the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in breath helps to identify “super spreaders.”
The HOUND® COVID-19 BREATHALYZER facilitates the on-site collection of breath samples that are stored on a disposable cartridge and then processed in a lab for detection of Covid-19.
How can a marijuana breathalyzer measure Covid-19?
In December 2018, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) researchers conducted a clinical study using Hound Labs breath technology. The results of the study confirmed the ultra-sensitive Hound Labs technology could capture breath samples to facilitate measurements as small as 1 picogram (1 trillionth of a gram) per liter of breath. The ability to measure such small concentrations suggested the Company’s proprietary technology has other applications including detecting disease in breath.
In January 2019, the Hound Labs research team began exploring different applications for the Hound Labs breath technology. The Company conducted several small studies over the course of the year. This exploratory research confirmed that the Hound technology could successfully be adapted to target other substances and markers of disease in breath. Hound Labs scientists continue to explore applications for the Company’s breath technology and for other proprietary technologies developed over the last 7 years.
Why use the HOUND COVID-19 BREATHALYZER instead of nasal or oral fluid swabs to test for Covid-19?
The Hound Labs breath technology is an ultra-sensitive portable technology. The HOUND COVID-19 BREATHALYZER is the only technology shown to consistently collect breath samples that enable laboratory identification of individuals with SARS-CoV-2 in their breath. The ability to diagnose and monitor patients with SARS-CoV-2 in their breath potentially provides unique insight into the underlying respiratory physiology of the virus in patients and may result in novel approaches to mitigating the spread of Covid-19.
Will work on the HOUND COVID-19 BREATHALYZER impact the availability of the HOUND MARIJUANA BREATHALYZER?
No, the HOUND MARIJUANA BREATHALYZER will still be available for employer, law enforcement, and insurance customers in early 2021.