Quest Diagnostics Announces Opioid Therapy Genetic Test

The company said it is believed to be the first clinical lab to offer testing for variants in all cytochrome P450 genes known to influence the CYP450 enzyme system, which affects the metabolism of opioids.

Quest Diagnostics on Aug. 8 announced the availability of a new, lab-developed genetic test to aid in the delivery of personalized opioid pain-relieving treatment, with the company saying it is believed to be the first clinical lab to offer testing for variants in all cytochrome P450 (CYP450) genes known to influence the CYP450 enzyme system, which affects the metabolism of opioids and other medications. With it, physicians can predict the rate of opioid drug metabolism and then adjust dosages or use other therapies, reducing the likelihood of drug toxicity, drug interactions, and other adverse outcomes, according to the company.

Millions of Americans suffer from chronic pain, and opioids are frequently used for pain management. Opioids also have high rates of drug addiction and overdose in the United States.

The company's announcement said the new test is based in part on gene variants owned by Transgenomic, Inc. through a non-exclusive licensing agreement between it and Quest Diagnostics, which developed, validated, and now offers the test service through its Nichols Institute facility in San Juan Capistrano, Calif.

"Genetic testing to personalize the use of pain-alleviating drug therapies is an exciting new clinical field with tremendous potential to promote favorable outcomes for the many millions of individuals struggling with pain," said Dr. Charles Strom, MD, Ph.D., senior medical director, Genetics, for Quest Diagnostics. "Opioids can be very effective pain-alleviating medications, but they are also powerful and potentially dangerous drugs carrying a high risk of addiction, toxicity, and other adverse effects. The inclusion of Transgenomic's gene discoveries into our genetic testing services will provide physicians with greater insights for safely and effectively administering opioid treatment."

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