Fighting opioid addiction with DNA

Gainesville-based Pro-GeneX and Pro-GeneX Laboratories are working to make a dent in the opioid addiction crisis by offering a tool – for physicians and patients – that will help gauge a person’s propensity for addiction before the prescription is ever written. Pro-GeneX is already making its mark in pharmacogenomics, which is a relatively new field that addresses how genes affect a person’s response to drugs. The company works with physicians who want analyses of patients’ DNA to develop individualized treatment and medication plans.

In a collaborative effort with PharMerica, which provides pharmacy management services for skilled nursing and long-term care facilities; healthcare research organization PRA Health Services; and Georgia Tech’s School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Pro-GeneX aims to launch a study of 1,000 patients that could lead to predicting risk levels for opioid addiction. Along with genetic links, the study will include patient and family histories of substance abuse, psychological diseases and pre-adolescent sexual abuse. These socioeconomic aspects of addiction combined with genetic information could provide a holistic view of addiction risk.

Learn more about how our state is grappling with opioid addiction in this month’s feature “Hooked in Georgia.”

Photo, from left: Brett Grauss, CEO and president of Pro-GeneX Laboratories, and Robert (Robbie) Rupard, CEO and founder of Pro-GeneX.

Photo provided by Pro-GeneX.

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