SOLVD Health Launches Genetic Risk Assessment for Opioid Use Disorder
Personalized information about a patient’s genetic risk for OUD can help physicians make more informed decisions when considering oral prescription opioids for acute pain relief.
CARLSBAD, Calif., October 18, 2021 – SOLVD Health, a privately held company focused on preventing disease by making actionable and contextual health information accessible to everyone, today announced that its genetic risk assessment for opioid use disorder (OUD) is now available to physicians and their patients.
AvertDTM is a clinically validated genetic test that uses a simple cheek swab sample to identify if a person may be at increased genetic risk for OUD. The test is intended to be used when oral prescription opioids are being considered to treat acute pain (pain expected to last less than 30 days).
“Today, many doctors perform risk assessments prior to prescribing oral opioids—however, the tools currently available are largely non-standardized and have limited utility,” said Keri Donaldson, MD, CEO of SOLVD Health. “We are proud to offer AvertD to help identify patients who may be at increased risk for OUD. Having personalized information about a patient’s genetic risk for OUD can help physicians make more informed decisions when considering oral prescription opioids for acute pain relief, particularly following elective surgical procedures.”
While there are many entry points for opioid misuse and addiction, prescription opioids continue to play a significant role, with approximately 80% of heroin users reporting that they first misused prescription opioids prior to heroin.1 According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2020, more than 93,000 people died from drug overdoses—the highest number of overdose deaths ever recorded. Almost 75% of these deaths were opioid-related.2
“We know that prescription opioids can be a gateway to addiction and have destroyed many lives and families,” said former California congresswoman Mary Bono, CEO and Chairman of Mothers Against Prescription Drug Abuse (MAPDA) and Chairman of Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA). “AvertD will help give patients and their healthcare providers the information they need to help manage their pain safely, help prevent addiction, and help save lives.”
An estimated 67 million opioid prescriptions are written to treat acute pain each year in the U.S. by surgically-focused specialties,3 potentially leading to as many as 7 million additional Americans misusing or becoming addicted to opioids annually.4 For these reasons, SOLVD Health will initially focus on the use of AvertD prior to elective surgeries.
AvertD is a physician-ordered cheek swab test that detects and analyzes 15 genetic markers involved in the brain reward pathways to help identify people who may be at increased genetic risk for OUD. The test was clinically validated through a blinded, multi-center, longitudinal study evaluating patients after their initial exposure to prescription oral opioids (n=385). The study was designed to allow for random representative sampling mirroring adults in the U.S. prescribed oral opioids. All patients took oral opioids between 4 and 30 days and were evaluated at least one year post-exposure.
The results of the study have been published in Annals of Clinical and Laboratory Science, a peer-reviewed journal. AvertD is intended to provide objective OUD risk information for patients and providers to use–in combination with a complete clinical evaluation and assessment–for informed decision-making regarding the use of oral prescription opioids for acute pain relief.
About Opioid Use Disorder
Opioids are a class of drugs that act in the nervous system to produce feelings of pleasure and pain relief. Some opioids are legally prescribed by healthcare providers to manage pain. Other opioids, such as heroin, are illegal drugs of abuse.5 OUD is a chronic lifelong disorder characterized by two or more recurring problems, including withdrawal, giving up important life events in order to use opioids, and excessive time spent using opioids.6 OUD is seen in people from all educational and socioeconomic backgrounds.
AvertD is a qualitative genotyping test used to detect and identify 15 clinically relevant genetic polymorphisms in genomic DNA isolated from buccal samples. The 15 detected genetic polymorphisms are involved in the brain reward pathways and are used to identify patients who may be at increased genetic risk for OUD. Information from AvertD provides patients and healthcare providers with objective information to be used for informed decision-making prior to the first prescription of oral opioids for 4 to 30 days. Because genetics are only one factor in understanding the risk of developing OUD from using oral opioids, AvertD test results should be used in conjunction with a complete clinical evaluation to determine the appropriateness of oral opioids in a pain management plan.
About SOLVD Health
SOLVD Health is a privately held company focused on preventing disease by making contextual health information accessible to everyone. Through the development of insights-based health tools, we are enabling individuals and their providers to make better decisions about their health and the health of their families. We accomplish this by translating complex biological signals into actionable patient data that can point the way to better health. To learn more about us, our solutions, and our career opportunities, visit us on LinkedIn, on Twitter, or at www.solvdhealth.com.
Janelle Drumwright; firstname.lastname@example.org
1NIDA. Prescription opioid use is a risk factor for heroin use. National Institute on Drug Abuse website. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/prescription-opioids-heroin/prescription-opioid-use-risk-factor-heroin-use. October 1, 2015 Accessed May 12, 2021.
2Ahmad FB, Rossen LM, Sutton P. Provisional drug overdose death counts. National Center for Health Statistics. 2021. Accessed at https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/drug-overdose-data.htm on July 26, 2021.
3Stark N, Kerr S, Stevens J. Prevalence and predictors of persistent post-surgical opioid use: a prospective observational cohort study. Anaesth Intensive Care. 2017;45(6):700-706. doi:10.1177/0310057X1704500609
4Guy G, Zhang K. Opioid prescribing by specialty and volume in the US. Am J Prev Med. 2018; 55(5):e153-e155
5National Institutes of Health. Genetics Home Reference: Opioid Addiction. Available at: https://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/opioid-addiction. Accessed June 16, 2020.
6Schuckit M. Treatment of Opioid-Use Disorders. N Engl J Med 2016; 375:357-368 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMra1604339