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Empire Genomics has received a $1 million investment from Rand Capital Corp. and a state-backed investment fund. The 8-year-old company, which has a clinical laboratory on Michigan Avenue, uses genetic tools to develop more precise, non-invasive tests for cancer, hard-to-diagnose forms of Down syndrome and markers for autism. Empire Genomics in January was named part of a state-backed, $105 million genomic-research consortium with members in Buffalo and Manhattan. The company will use the $1 million to grow faster by acquiring new technologies, hiring staff and boosting its test offerings. The ongoing investment in the life-sciences sector and the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus convinced Rand to back Empire Genomics, said Daniel P. Penberthy, Rand’s executive vice president, who is joining Empire Genomics’ board of directors. Rand was joined in the investment by the SCP Buffalo Incubator Innovate NY Fund, one of seven investment funds across New York that participate in the state’s $45 million Innovate NY fund. The two partners earlier this year invested $437,500 in CrowdBouncer, a Buffalo startup that provides software to help crowdfunding websites deal with new federal regulations.

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