Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today expanded its portfolio of instruments for molecular diagnostics with the introduction of the AriaDx Real-Time PCR System. AriaDx is the only modular real-time PCR instrument on the market intended for in vitro diagnostic use.

Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is routinely used in laboratories to help identify pathogens, genotype infectious agents, and for cancer diagnostics.

Based on a history of providing precision qPCR technology (acquired when Agilent purchased Stratagene in 2007), the new AriaDx Real-Time PCR System has been designed and manufactured to ISO13485 standards and is CE marked for use in in vitro diagnostics. Whereas the Stratagene qPCR products portfolio primarily catered to customers in basic research, the launch of AriaDx now extends the portfolio from its use in research to diagnostics.

The unique modular design of customer-changeable optics in the instrument enables laboratories to use AriaDx with just one optical cartridge, and add more (up to six total) as required. The flexible, do-it-yourself upgrade capability is as easy as changing out a desktop printer cartridge and provides unmatched investment protection and cost savings for labs who initially did not require multiplexing capabilities. The touchscreen and accompanying analysis software is intuitive, and incorporates customer-favored features from the Stratagene Mx series while further increasing and streamlining analysis capabilities. These advancements ensure ease of use for both experienced and novice users in a diagnostics laboratory setting.

AriaDx is versatile in its functionality and can be used for assays detecting gene expression, allele discrimination and genotyping. Such assays are primarily used in identifying the causative agent of an infection and in gene mutation analysis for cancer diagnostics.

The open platform of AriaDx makes it compatible to existing fast chemistry-based assays that are DNA binding and probe-based. This feature enables assay developers and partners with optimized reaction chemistries to quickly validate their assays on the AriaDx.

"We are excited to provide a new generation of flexible qPCR diagnostics instrumentation for our partners creating molecular diagnostic assays," said Jeff Heimburger, head of Genomics marketing at Agilent. "The unique and modular design of the AriaDx Real-Time PCR system caters to current and future needs of a clinical laboratory."