Epitope Inc. has been awarded a $467,000 grant to fund clinicaltrials for OraQuick, a 10-minute test for the detection of HIVantibodies in oral samples.

The test consists of a membrane mounted on a plastic spoon-like device, which captures antibodies from the mucosalsurfaces of the mouth, said John Fitchen, vice president ofresearch and clinical activities at the Beaverton, Ore.,company. Once antibodies are collected, the device is put incontact with viral antigens and a developer that changes colorif antibodies are present.

The two-year small business innovation research grant is fromthe National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Another Epitope product, the OraSure collection device, isawaiting Food and Drug Administration approval for use in HIVscreening.

Epitope stock (AMEX:EPT) closed up $1.25 at $19.13 onThursday.

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.