California Drug and Alcohol Clinic Offers DNA-Customized Treatment for Individuals with a Genetic Predisposition for Addictive Behavior
News Dec 18, 2007
A Better Tomorrow is the first drug and alcohol treatment center in the nation to offer its patients HAVEOS, a DNA-customized program for individuals with a genetic predisposition for addictive behavior.
"A Better Tomorrow is one of the leading addiction treatment centers in California. They are constantly striving to improve their success rate with addiction treatment, and because the level of education and experience of A Better Tomorrow's staff is among the highest in the industry, we felt they will be able to effectively implement HAVEOS into their current programs," said Brian Meshkin, president and CEO of Salugen, Inc., a San Diego-based life sciences company that specializes in the development of genetic tests and DNA-customized therapeutics.
Meshkin added, "With a success rate among the best in the industry, the addition of HAVEOS could put A Better Tomorrow into a class of its own."
"HAVEOS could be quite effective in treating individuals whose addictions cannot be treated solely with behavioral-based treatment methods, such as one-one-one counseling, group therapy, cognitive therapy and psychotherapy," said Jerrod Menz, A Better Tomorrow's president, adding, "The HAVEOS program from Salugen is supported by published studies demonstrating its effectiveness in reducing cravings, stress, and anxiety."
It is estimated that roughly a third of the general population is genetically predisposed to addictive behavior, primarily because of a dysfunction involving their dopamine receptors.
"This doesn't mean they will automatically become addicts," said Charles Anderson, chief operating officer of A Better Tomorrow. "It just means they are more susceptible to addictive behavior than the general population. Patients who are interested in using HAVEOS as part of their treatment will have their DNA tested first to determine if they are genetically predisposed to addictive behavior. Customized doses of HAVEOS can then be formulated to meet the patient's specific needs."
Josie Gann, A Better Tomorrow's clinical director, said information involving some individuals' genetic predisposition to addiction will be very helpful to family members and other loved ones who have struggled to understand why addictive behavior has occurred within their family.
"A Better Tomorrow's new program could be the next step forward in developing more effective treatments using both social and medical methods to create a new standard of treatment in the United States," Gann said, adding that the treatment of addicts has changed little over the past decades.
"Either it consisted of a social or a medically based program, but rarely are these combined," she said. "A Better Tomorrow believes that these two methods of treatment can co-exist."
As genome editing technologies advance toward clinical therapies, they are raising hopes of a completely new way to treat disease. However, challenges need to be addressed before potential treatments can be widely used in patients. To tackle these challenges, the National Institutes of Health has launched the Somatic Cell Genome Editing program, which has awarded multiple grants including more than $3.6 million to assess the safety of genome editing in human cells and tissues.