MORGANTOWN — Up to 20 percent of people with opioid use disorder may not respond to standard treatment. A new study at WVU seeks to understand why.

The fixed-dose combination of buprenorphine/naloxone is one of only two major pharmacological interventions approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat opioid dependence. This treatment, sold under the brand name Suboxone, helps those suffering with opioid dependence by activating opioid receptors in the brain.

“We need to identify why some patients are not responding to buprenorphine/naloxone treatment so we can better target this population and provide recommendations to improve treatment efficacy and therapeutic success,” Marina Galvez Peralta, principal investigator of the study and assistant professor in the School of Pharmacy, said.

The new study will be looking to identify genetic variants, as well as buprenorphine and major metabolite norbuprenorphine levels in urine among patients enrolled in WVU Medicine’s Comprehensive Opioid Addiction Treatment (COAT) program.