Ventana Medical Systems and Advanced Cell Diagnostics (ACD) entered a worldwide copromotion agreement to make available the first fully automated RNA in situ hybridization (ISH) assay system with single-molecule sensitivity. The two companies have partnered to automate this assay system on the Ventana Discovery series slide-staining platforms. The product offerings are expected to become commercially available in the first quarter of 2012 and will initially be offered for research-use only (RUO) applications.
"Given the fact that the majority of biomarkers are discovered from genomic research and are RNA by nature, the automation of RNAscope represents an important milestone that will accelerate biomarker research into a new level of sophistication," says Yuling Luo, Ph.D., founder, president, and CEO of ACD. "RNAscope will become an equally indispensable tool alongside immunohistochemistry, fluorescence in situ hybridization, and polymerase chain reaction for researchers in life sciences and drug development."
Dr. Luo adds that RNAscope’s ability to generate robust and reproducible results from routine clinical specimens "makes the technology a compelling platform for clinical diagnostic applications in the foreseeable future."
Bill Crawford, director of marketing, discovery, with Ventana, says, "The combination of RNAscope reagent system and our sophisticated and flexible Discovery platform and detection systems delivers a powerful solution for biomarker discovery and validation. It has significant potential to advance cell- and tissue-based biomarker analyses for future clinical and companion diagnostics development."
RNA in situ hybridization allows the analysis of gene expression in the context of tissue architecture in areas of oncology, virology, and neuroscience research. RNAscope provides researchers the capability to interrogate the function and disease relevance of any expressed genes in situ, especially for the approximately 5,000 genes and 15,000 non-coding RNAs in the human genome where no other technologies can adequately address, according to Ventana and ACD. In addition, RNAscope allows researchers to tap into the estimated 400 million clinically annotated, archived formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue specimens for retrospective clinical studies in translational research.