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EPITOPE FORMS GRAPE PLANT BIOTECHNOLOGY SUBSIDIARY

 BEAVERTON, Ore., May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Epitope Inc. (AMEX: EPT) today reported that its wholly owned subsidiary, Agritope Inc., has formed a subsidiary to conduct its grape plant biotechnology business. The new company, Vinifera Inc., is currently located in Beaverton, but plans are underway to develop a Northern California facility close to the company's principal U.S. market. Vinifera's primary mission will be to develop, produce and sell high-quality planting material to the grape industry. Agritope will support Vinifera's efforts by continuing to provide research and development support on a contract basis.
 Vinifera will be managed by Joseph A. Bouckaert, president and chief executive officer, and James A. Stamp, Ph.D., executive vice president and chief operating officer. Bouckaert is the former vice chairman of DNA Plant Technology Corp. (DNAP). He also was president and chief executive officer of Advanced Genetic Sciences Inc., Oakland, Calif., prior to its merger with DNAP. Bouckaert's first experience in the agricultural biotechnology industry was acquired in Belgium where he was a co-founder and first president of Plant Genetic Systems, N.V. Stamp, a senior vice president of Agritope, has directed the grape plant biotechnology program for Agritope since its establishment in 1989.
 "We are pleased that our grape plant biotechnology has matured to the point where it is ready to operate as a separate unit of the company. The combination of Dr. Stamp's scientific expertise with Mr. Bouckaert's strong business experience in the agricultural biotechnology industry will be important to assuring success in the marketplace," said Adolph J. Ferro, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Epitope and Agritope.
 In connection with plans for expansion into California, Vinifera will seek equity participation from grape industry sources and other knowledgeable investors, primarily in California. The investment banking firm of Piper Jaffray Inc. has been engaged to advise the company in this effort. Upon completion of the financing, Agritope will still hold a controlling interest in Vinifera.
 Epitope Inc. is an Oregon corporation utilizing biotechnology to develop diagnostic products for the detection of AIDS and other indications and, through its agricultural unit, Agritope Inc., superior new plant varieties.
 -0- 5/11/93
 /CONTACT: Mary Hagen of Epitope, 503-641-6115/
 (EPT)


CO: Epitope Inc.; Agritope Inc.; Vinifera Inc. ST: Oregon, California IN: AGR SU:

SW-AL -- SE006 -- 7043 05/11/93 12:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 11, 1993
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