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Epitope Announces Equity Investment by SmithKline Beecham

    BEAVERTON, Ore., Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Epitope, Inc. (Nasdaq: EPTO) today
announced that SmithKline Beecham plc (SB) will make an equity investment in
Epitope by purchasing approximately 200,000 shares of the Company's common
stock at the closing price on July 25, 1997.
    "This equity investment will allow SB to participate in the promising
future we see for Epitope," said Donna J. Sturgess, director of diagnostic
products for SB Consumer Healthcare.  "Although we have decided that the size
of the over-the-counter market for OraSure does not fit SB's product profile,
we still believe strongly in the technology and the company that developed
it."
    On July 28, Epitope announced that it had regained all rights from SB to
its patented oral fluid diagnostics technology marketed under the brand name
OraSure(R).
    "We are very pleased by SB's vote of confidence and by the substantial
effort they have devoted to promoting recognition of the brand and awareness
of the technology," said John H. Fitchen, M.D., chief operating officer of the
Epitope Medical Products group.  "The funds from this investment give us the
ability to move aggressively in the development of new applications of the
technology aimed at the professional, public health and insurance market
segments."
    Epitope, Inc. is a biotechnology company that develops and markets medical
diagnostic products through its Medical Products group.  Its Agritope group is
focused on the development and commercialization of novel agricultural
products using plant genetic engineering and other modern methods.

Source: EPITOPE Inc.


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