Redwood Toxicology Laboratory Expands Testing for Synthetic Cannabinoids to cover new "legal" highs

SANTA ROSA, California, November 22, 2011 - Continuing to pioneer new research in designer drug testing, Redwood Toxicology Laboratory (RTL), part of Alere Inc., has confirmed the presence of four new active compounds in synthetic marijuana. In response to these findings, RTL has enhanced its existing synthetic cannabinoid urine test for JWH-018 and JWH-073 with the addition of four new compounds, AM-2201, RCS-4, JWH-081, and JWH-250.


RTL was the first laboratory to offer testing for JWH-018 and JWH-073, which are two of the five synthetic cannabinoids banned by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). While RTL continues to observe these substances during analysis, persistent designer drug chemists have attempted to circumvent the DEA's bans by developing new substances that contain compounds with similar chemical structures.

RTL's research indicates that four chemicals are gaining prevalence as active ingredients in newer-generation synthetic marijuana products: AM-2201, RCS-4, JWH-081, and JWH-250. Alone or in combination, they can be found in such products as Syn, K3 Legal, Haze, Cloud Nine, Mr. Miyagi Zero, Tyranny Green, and Warped. Because these chemicals are not yet federally regulated, they appeal to clandestine drug chemists, who may include them in their herbal blends for "legal" highs.

"To identify the ever-changing compounds and their metabolites, substance abuse testing laboratories must be determined to research and develop new test methods," said Sumandeep Rana, RTL's Scientific Director. "At RTL, we are extremely dedicated to examining substance abuse trends and synthetic drug production. Our goal is to continually empower our clients by providing advanced testing solutions that drive better detection, diagnosis, and healthcare."

Escalating synthetic drug production and distribution has become a concern for emergency rooms and poison control centers around the nation. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, the first 10 months of this year have shown a 97% increase from 2010 in the number of human-exposure calls related to synthetic cannabinoids.

RTL has and remains committed to monitoring new synthetic cannabinoids and providing reliable, innovative, and accessible substance abuse test options.

The company's expanded 6-compound panel utilizes a combination of liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) to confirm the presence of parent compounds and their metabolites in urine. With this new panel, criminal justice and drug rehabilitation clients will benefit from the confidence of improved detection and can promote wellness and relieve addiction suffering more effectively.

About Redwood
Redwood Toxicology Laboratory (RTL) is the government services division of Alere Toxicology and one of the nation's largest drug and alcohol testing laboratories. RTL is dedicated to providing reliable, innovative, and accessible substance abuse screening products and lab test options to help criminal justice and treatment professionals promote wellness, relieve addiction suffering, and restore health. For more information about RTL, please visit www.redwoodtoxicology.com

About Alere
By developing new capabilities in near-patient diagnosis, monitoring and health management, Alere enables individuals to take charge of improving their health and quality of life at home. Alere's global leading products and services, as well as its new product development efforts, focus on infectious disease, cardiology, oncology, toxicology and women's health. Alere is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. For more information regarding Alere, please visit www.alere.com