Neogen launches new test for synthetic cannabinoids

December 10, 2012

Press Release
CONTACT: Emilie Stanley, Neogen Corporation, 517.372.9200

LEXINGTON, Ky., Dec. 10, 2012 — Neogen Corporation has developed a new, easy-to-use test for synthetic cannabinoids, also known as spice.

Neogen’s new Synthetic Cannabinoids (SPICE) enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) is the most sensitive screening test on the market for the detection of synthetic cannabinoids in multiple forensic matrices, such as blood and urine. Synthetic cannabinoids are components in designer drugs, which are created to mimic the effects of illegal compounds.

Neogen’s Synthetic Cannabinoids (SPICE) ELISA kit is a qualitative, ready-to-use screening test that detects more of the Schedule I controlled synthetic compounds used in spice than any other kit on the market. The detection of a wide range of spice’s chemical components is critical, as the manufacturers of these drugs often develop new formulas once a previous version has been banned. Given the easy and quick synthesis of new compounds that make up the drug, new formulations may not fall into the controlled substances category, making them difficult to regulate.

“Neogen’s new test for synthetic cannabinoids, or spice, is the most comprehensive, sensitive and affordable screening assay on the market,” said Neogen’s Emilie Stanley. “With its ability to detect more than 30 chemical compounds associated with spice, this test provides forensic toxicologists an effective way to routinely screen for these drugs.” Spice typically is a mix of dried plant material laced with a synthetic compound similar to THC, the active chemical in marijuana. Side effects range from elevated mood and relaxation to paranoia, hallucinations and violent episodes.

These drugs typically are marketed as incense and as being safe. They are sold most commonly online, at head shops and at gas stations under many pseudonyms including spice, K2, fake weed, Skunk and Moon Rocks, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. Spice ranked second only to marijuana as a drug of choice for high school seniors, according to the 2011 Monitoring the Future Survey from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

This new test is for forensic use only.

Neogen Corporation (Nasdaq: NEOG) develops and markets products dedicated to food and animal safety. Neogen’s Life Sciences Division offers ultra sensitive, quick and dependable ELISA kits and equipment for research applications, forensic toxicology and animal sport toxicology. Neogen’s toxicology kits cover a wide range of drugs of abuse and therapeutic drugs.