Synthetic fentanyl crisis and our response
Acutis Diagnostics Inc. announced that its most recent menu of synthetic fentanyl tests is the subject of a publication, “Urine Quantitative Analysis of 26 Novel fentanyl Analogs and Metabolites by LC-MS/MS and its Clinical Significance” and was presented as a poster at the 40th annual meeting of the American College of Toxicology (ACT).
Additionally, the company announced that this work was accepted for publication in the International Journal of Toxicology in an upcoming issue during 2020. In the presentation, which was attended by both industry and as well as government officials, Acutis scientists outlined the research and development process they undertook to build and validate a comprehensive assay of more than two dozen analogs of fentanyl which were identified in clinical samples obtained from substance abuse facilities in the US.
“New forms of synthetic fentanyl are being introduced in the streets and often mixed with other substances. In many instances, we have observed that patients that were previously thought to be in compliance with their substance management programs were in fact utilizing certain forms of opioids that evaded detection by conventional means. After working with various agencies to identify the most prevalent forms of synthetic fentanyl, we then focused our efforts on the development of robust methodology by which we could identify and quantitate the levels of all of these compounds in a single assay with a total run time of under six minutes” said Mumtaz Akhtar, Acutis Senior Scientist and lead author on the study.
The Acutis synthetic fentanyl assay identifies 26 of most common analogs of fentanyl as well as an additional three novel synthetic opioids (“Utopioids”) to provide an extensive menu of compounds that can detect highly dangerous substances that are in use. Such information provides clinicians with the ability to better monitor substance misuse that would otherwise go undetected. Moreover, many such patients were shown to be unwittingly using such drugs, a number of which can be lethal in amounts far less than common street drugs. “Our new synthetic fentanyl assay provides a comprehensive confirmatory drug assay that is capable of reducing the false negative rate that currently exists with less robust assays” said Dr. Marjorie Bon Homme, Acutis’ Clinical Laboratory Director. “We are well positioned to provide an unsurpassed level of service to our substance use clientele who are increasingly trying to catch up to the wide array of street drug adulteration that is becoming more commonplace. We are also pleased to have presented our findings to concerned parties, such as the Drug Enforcement Agency, that have a shared goal to combat this public health crisis.”