Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Prevent the Addiction?

With its genetic test, Prescient Medicine says it can identify people who may be at a higher risk of developing an opioid addiction, Fast Company reports.

Prescient tells Fast Company that about 10 percent to 20 percent of the population has a genetic makeup that predisposes them to addiction. It says that doctors could run its test on patients prior to prescribing them opioids. At-risk patients could then be offered a non-opioid treatment and, potentially, stave off an addiction before it starts.

According to Fast Company, Prescient's LifeKit Predict test examines 16 genes, many of which are part of drug metabolism and brain reward pathways and relies on an algorithm to provide a score of addiction risk.

As GenomeWeb reported in August, Prescient recently published an article in the Annals of Clinical & Laboratory Science that said that its LifeKit Predict had 97 percent sensitivity and 87 percent specificity for distinguishing opioid addicts and controls. One clinician noted to GenomeWeb that the sample size in the paper was quite small.

Another company, Proove Biosciences, has also sought to develop a similar test, but it has run into skepticism about the test's validity, Fast Company notes. GenomeWeb reported that similar questions have been raised about Prescient's test, though Prescient CEO and medical director Keri Donaldson notes that his company's test differs from Proove's.