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Agilent to Host Forensics Webinar

Published: Wednesday, June 05, 2013
Last Updated: Thursday, June 06, 2013
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The webinar, which will be held on June 20, will focus on LC/MS/MS methods for cannabinoid and benzodiazepine quantitation in whole blood samples.

The new quantitative methods, designed to run on Agilent’s LC/MS/MS instrumentation, fulfill stringent validation guidelines and provide forensic toxicology laboratories with a complete protocol for the quantitation of two of the most commonly abused drug classes in the United States. This set of Agilent methods is the first in a series now under evaluation by the Virginia Department of Forensic Science. Additional methods will cover 150 commonly abused drugs, spanning more than 10 classes of drugs, including designer drugs, for use in forensic toxicology.

During the webinar, Dr. Rebecca Wagner, research analyst from Virginia’s Department of Forensic Science, will describe the methods and their applications in detail. Attendees will receive electronic access to the complete set of standard operating procedures, detailed validation data, and the LC/MS/MS method to help their laboratories implement the methodology. The webinar will also be available for on-demand replay.

“One of the greatest challenges laboratories face when onboarding new technology is method development and validation,” said Tom Gluodenis, Agilent’s global marketing manager of forensics and toxicology. “That’s why we have collaborated with lab director Linda Jackson and her team at the Virginia Department of Forensic Science to develop a set of standardized LC/MS/MS methods for law enforcement’s most commonly tested drugs. This set of panels will enable forensic toxicology laboratories to obtain immediate, high-quality results with minimal effort.”

“We have developed two separate quantitative methods for the analysis of cannabinoids, benzodiazepines and their metabolites,” said Dr. Wagner. “These standardized methods meet rigorous validation guidelines, including those proposed by the Scientific Working Group for Forensic Toxicology. They take the onus off toxicologists to develop their own quantitative methods, and provide them with thoroughly validated methods for some of their most commonly analyzed compounds.”

“Now, when laboratories purchase Agilent LC/MS/MS instrumentation,” Gluodenis said, “we can provide them with both highly reliable technology and a set of advanced screening solutions that have been validated by one of the nation’s preeminent forensic institutions.”

Method Development

The Virginia Department of Forensic Science analyzes biological specimens for the presence or absence of drugs and alcohol in DUI/DUID, medical examiner, and police cases. Cannabinoids and benzodiazepines are two of the more frequently quantitated drug classes for DUID cases in the Commonwealth of Virginia. In 2012, 2,524 DUID cases were analyzed. Of those cases, 35 percent contained cannabinoids and 31 percent contained benzodiazepines.

Two separate quantitative methods have been developed and validated that include, but are not limited to, the experiments described in the method-validation guidelines proposed by the Scientific Working Group for Forensic Toxicology. The cannabinoid method targets were THC, THC-COOH, THC-OH, cannabinol and cannabidiol. There were 22 target compounds for the benzodiazepine method that included parent compounds and their metabolites. The department’s validation procedures, in conjunction with the proposed SWGTOX guidelines, have facilitated the implementation of a standard method development and validation plan. In the live webinar presentation on June 20, the methods will be described in detail, from initial development to implementation in the four laboratories that comprise the Virginia Department of Forensic Science.

Click below to register for the webinar, “LC/MS/MS Validation of a Cannabinoid and Benzodiazepine Method with Comparison to the Proposed SWGTOX Method Validation Standards.”

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