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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