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FDA Approves Gen-Probe Device

The Food and Drug Administration has approved San Diego-based Gen-Probe Inc.’s device to test donated blood for West Nile virus.

The company made the announcement late in the day March 2.

The test, called the Procleix Tigris System, can also test organs and tissues for the virus. It can process 1,000 blood samples in 14 hours. This method increases sensitivity and blood safety, according to Gen-Probe. Blood centers typically screen for West Nile virus using pooled samples, the company said.

West Nile virus is a mosquito-borne virus that causes flulike symptoms and encephalitis, among other health problems. More than 4,200 human cases of West Nile virus occurred in 2006, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Gen-Probe employs 1,000 people. Stock trades on the Nasdaq as GPRO, and was trading at $46.91, up 1.16 percent, or 54 cents, during the trading day March 5.

, Katie Weeks

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