SEATTLE, Aug. 12 /PRNewswire/ --Epitope, Inc. (Nasdaq: EPTO) today presented a corporate overview at the seventh annual Medical Investments Northwest conference in Seattle. Epitope develops and markets oral fluid diagnostic tests for detection of HIV and other medical conditions. OraSure(R), its principal product, is the first and only FDA approved Class III oral fluid collection devise available for HIV testing. OraSure(R) competes with blood and urine based diagnostic tests in the life insurance, public health, and international markets. OraSure(R) has the advantage of high accuracy (99.97% by JAMA), faster delivery of testing results, and lower cost to the provider due to minimal collection costs. Other product advantages include portability, minimal training requirements, employee safety, reduced chain of custody issues, and the ability to expand into the needle adverse population. OraSure(R) is protected by 11 U.S. patents. The company has undertaken focused sales and marketing efforts over the past six months. Efforts cited include re-orientation of the sales teams, established sales goals consistent with company financial objectives, kit distribution program, penetration into the lower life policy limits, advertising, direct mail, and expected expansion into the military, community AIDS outreach and physician community. Included in Epitope's sales and marketing efforts has been an aggressive focus on the international and public health markets. To date, Japan, Brazil, Argentina, Hong Kong and the UK have entered into various agreements using OraSure(R). In addition, the company has been successful in addressing the public health market in major AIDS states; California, New York, New Jersey, Florida and Michigan. Epitope has been developing new applications of OraSure(R) to expand its existing franchise. Epitope and its research partner, STC Technologies, have developed OraSure(R) based tests for cotinine and drugs-of-abuse, commonly referred to as the NIDA-5. To date, the company has received FDA approval for four of the five drugs-of-abuse: opiates, cocaine, cannabinoids, and methamphetamines. The fifth drug, phencyclidine (PCP), is currently under FDA review. The expected launch of the drugs-of-abuse testing panel is 12 to 15 months. Targeted markets include clinical and government mandated settings, forensic and industrial testing markets. Epitope expects to submit additional FDA OraSure(R) applications for hepatitis and syphilis. Under a recent agreement with Analytical Genetic Testing Center, Epitope will explore the use of OraSure(R) in conjunction with DNA testing. Epitope is developing a rapid diagnostic oral fluid specimen testing kit, OraQuick, for use in both the domestic and international markets. Designed to yield results in 10 minutes, OraQuick will expand the technology applications beyond HIV to include helicobacter pylori (ulcer-causing bacteria), syphilis, hepatitis and drugs-of-abuse. The company also manufactures the OraSure(R) HIV-1 Western blot screening and confirmatory test for oral fluid based testing and the EPIblot Hiv-1 Western confirmatory test for blood based HIV testing. Both are marketed worldwide under an exclusive agreement with Organon Teknika.
Source: EPITOPE Inc.
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