MicroProbe Corp. announced late Tuesday that it has raised $8million from a group of investors in a private placement ofequity managed by D. Blech & Co. Participants included theGlobal Health Sciences Fund and Financial Strategic PortfoliosInc., as well as previous investors.

The Bothell, Wash., company said the funds will be used forresearch and development, and for marketing its Affirm line ofDNA probe-based diagnostic systems. Funding will also provideincreased support for MicroProbe's research in therapeuticapplications of its technology.

MicroProbe's automated diagnostic systems utilize a class ofoligonucleotides known as DNA probes for rapid identificationof infectious-disease microorganisms. The Affirm VP MicrobialIdentification System, introduced last October, is the first directDNA-probe test for in-office diagnosis of vaginitis.

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