Atmo Biosciences CEO Mal Hebblewhite

Human trials underway for first generation Atmo Gas Capsule

Two human trials of Atmo Biosciences’ ingestible gas-sensing capsule have begun.

The first trial is being conducted at Monash University and the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, in collaboration with the research team led by Professor Peter Gibson and Professor Jane Muir.

The trial will investigate motility and transit time through the gastrointestinal tract for the Atmo Gas Capsule and compare it with current standards for measuring transit time.

Over the next several months, up to 60 healthy subjects will ingest the electronic Atmo capsule, allowing researchers to collect data on hydrogen and oxygen gas profiles measured at the source of production, and transmitted wirelessly by the capsule to the Cloud for analysis. The disposable capsule, which is the size of a large multivitamin, is not retrieved after excretion.

Atmo Biosciences CEO Mal Hebblewhite said: “This is an exciting milestone for Atmo, as it is the initial trial in a series using our first generation Atmo Gas Capsule, which has been developed and manufactured here in Australia at Planet Innovation, after spinning the technology out of RMIT University. It’s an important early step in the commercialization pathway.”

The Atmo Gas Capsule is also being used in another Monash trial with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) patients, who suffer from debilitating symptoms which negatively affect their quality of life. The capsule, which measures the concentration of gaseous biomarkers continuously as it passes along the gastrointestinal tract, aims to provide clinical insight to enable better targeted treatment and management of IBS.

Mal said: “This IBS trial is a great example of how the Atmo Gas Capsule provides researchers with the opportunity to assess the impact of personalized therapies on the gut in real time. It also allows Atmo to collect gut gas profiles for patients with IBS, which can then be compared to those of healthy subjects.”

While these are the first trials using the current Atmo Gas Capsule, a human trial for safety and reliability was previously conducted on 23 volunteers using a prototype manufactured at RMIT University. Results from this trial resulted in journal publications last year showing the technology offers a more effective way of measuring microbiome function than existing methods such as breath testing.