Validation of a Novel Immunoassay for the Detection of Synthetic Cannabinoids and Metabolites in Urine Specimens

Amanda Arntson1, Bill Ofsa2, Denise Lancaster2, John R. Simon3, Matthew McMullin2 and Barry Logan1,2

1The Center for Forensic Science Research and Education, Willow Grove, PA, 2National Medical Services Laboratory, Willow Grove, PA, and 3Tulip Biolabs, Inc., West Point, PA

The article Validation of a Novel Immunoassay for the Detection of Synthetic Cannabinoids and Metabolites in Urine Specimens appears in the Journal of Analytical Toxicology 2013; doi: 10.1093/jat/bkt024.  Abstract is included below.

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ABSTRACT: Synthetic cannabinoid drugs do not cross react on traditional marijuana immunoassay tests, preventing their use in large scale drug screening programs. This paper describes the validation and performance characteristics of two enzyme linked immunosorbent assays designed to detect the use of two common synthetic cannabinoids in urine, JWH-018 and JWH-250. The JWH-018 assay has significant cross-reactivity with several synthetic cannabinoids and their metabolites, whereas the JWH-250 assay has limited crossreactivity. The assays are calibrated at 5 ng/mL with the 5-OH metabolite of JWH-018 and the 4-OH metabolite of JWH-250. The method was validated with 114 urine samples for JHW-018 and 84 urine samples for JWH-250 and confirmed by using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry, which tests for metabolites of JWH-018, JWH-019, JWH-073, JWH-250 and AM-2201. The accuracy was determined to be 98% with greater than 95% sensitivity and specificity for both assays.

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