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Agilent, Florida International Developing Screening Methods for Designer Drugs

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Agilent Technologies today announced a collaboration with Florida International University to develop methods for the identification and characterization of designer drugs.

Agilent is working with FIU's department of chemistry and biochemistry and its International Forensics Research Institute and is currently focused on developing and validating methods for rapid forensic screening and analysis to expand the capabilities of drug screening techniques using immunoassays, the company said.

The collaboration will develop methods based on advanced chromatography and mass spectrometry systems, including LC-QQQ-MS/MS, LC-QTOF-MS, GC-MS, and GC-MS/MS.

Routine immunoassay drug-screening techniques cannot detect most of the hundreds of designer drugs, and FIU and Agilent seek to create new analytical methods to screen and confirm the presence of such drugs in ante- and post-mortem specimens, Anthony DeCaprio, associate professor and director of the Forensic & Analytical Toxicology facility at the university, said.

He added that he and his colleagues recently validated a technique for detecting and quantifying 32 drugs in serum, including 24 phenethylamines, four piperazines, and four tryptamines. With Agilent, they hope to expand their tandem mass spectral library to about 300 designer drugs.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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