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Life Technologies Corporation entered into a global distribution agreement with Advanced Cell Diagnostics (ACD) to commercialize the latter's fluorescent RNAscope portfolio of probes and kits in the research market. Life Technologies will distribute ACD's portfolio through its widespread global distribution network.

Advanced Cell Diagnostics completed a $12 million Series B equity financing deal in Nov 2012 to support the commercial expansion of its unique RNAscope-based products and services in the life science research market and expedite its entry into the clinical diagnostics market.

The new collaboration is expected to open up a largely untapped market and at the same time, accelerate the development of advanced diagnostics.

On the other hand, LIFE's decision to distribute the RNAscope portfolio reflects its long-standing commitment to make available the most innovative products and services to the researchers. It also marks the entry of the company into the growing tissue analysis market. The extensive availability of the RNAscope from ACD is expected to help researchers overcome major technical hurdles involved in the study of the heterogeneous samples.

RNAscope technology is the first automated multiplex in situ hybridization platform developed to detect and quantify RNA biomarkers in situ at single-molecule sensitivity. The technology provides single-cell gene expression information within full cellular and tissue context. It also reveals valuable, morphological information with respect to newly identified biomarkers in both cells and complex tissues.

RNAscope can work with both routine clinical specimen and standard clinical laboratory workflow. Such added features will smoothen the work of researchers by removing the shortcomings faced due to lack of antibodies, complementing both next-generation sequencing (NGS)  and qPCR methods.

The pioneering technology developed by ACD enables researchers to visualize and quantify RNA in tissue samples. It can simultaneously preserve the tissue context and provide single-molecule RNA detection. Such improvements facilitate researchers to detect the appropriate biomarker in specific cells, even when using a traditional fluorescence microscope.

RNAscope is poised to become a winning technique for identifying and validating RNA biomarkers in tissue for research, molecular diagnostics and companion diagnostics purposes. A spontaneous rise in discovery of biomarkers identified from microarray and NGS technologies is anticipated due to the growing momentum of cancer and neurobiology research.

Currently, LIFE carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Other better-placed medical stocks that are worth a look include Trinity Biotech plc , carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), and Advaxis, Inc. and Boston Scientific Corp. , each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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