Beagle’s innovative technology is based partially on a patent-pending ambient ionisation source (i.e. detecting volatile chemicals at atmospheric conditions). Currently, Beagle exists as a lab prototype where preliminary tests on known lung cancer biomarkers have shown at least ten times greater sensitivity than alternative technologies. There are ongoing collaborations with experts in electrical engineering, Prof. John Fletcher (UNSW), machine learning, A/Prof. Vijaya Kolachalama (Boston University), and software engineering, Mario Tenavian (Microsoft AU), to develop a minimum viable product. Clinical trials for Beagle will also be conducted as part of existing PhD studies. Beagle’s mission to detect early lung cancer is also aligned with current government priorities including its plan for a nationwide lung cancer screening program.
Beagle’s business model consists of two parts: i) Beagle breathalyser unit; and ii) screening service. By fitting Beagle devices into a mobile van, customers can easily obtain a lung cancer screening test at various locations (similar to the nationwide government BreastScreen service). The initial setup cost for one Beagle testing van is approx. $100,000 (which contains 2 Beagle breathalysers). Each test will cost $150 with a ~ 90 % profit margin. Once Beagle is approved by Medicare, customers can claim a Medicare rebate for each test. Given current cancer screening advice, it is expected that Beagle customers will attend a screening session once every 2 years.