The agreement is to automate fully automated RNA in situ hybridization (ISH) assay system on the Ventana Discovery Ultra and Discovery XT slide staining platforms.

The automated RNA ISH system can detect and analyze gene expression in the tissue architecture in areas including neuroscience, oncology and virology research.

Ventana marketing, Discovery director Bill Crawford said the combination of RNAscope reagent system and their 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," Crawford said.

ACD founder, president and CEO Yuling Luo said 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.

Ventana said the product offerings are expected to become commercially available in the first quarter of 2012 and will initially be provided for research-use only (RUO) applications.