Lifecore Biomedical Inc. announced Thursday that it hasentered into a technology-development agreement with FidiaAdvanced Biopolymers Srl of Abano Terme, Italy.

Under the agreement, Lifecore of Chaska, Minn., will link itshyaluronate manufacturing capabilities with Fidia'shyaluronate cross-linking technology. Lifecore will identifypotential products that could be made from the cross-linking ofhyaluronate and other compounds, and will act as the exclusivesupplier of hyaluronate to any future licensees of Fidia'stechnology.

One example of such a product, a Lifecore spokeswoman said,might be an improved fill material for breast implants, but shenoted that the companies have not yet determined any specificapplications. No financial terms of the agreement weredisclosed.

Lifecore has a patented method for deriving hyaluronatethrough a microbial fermentation process. The product occursnaturally in rooster combs and can be derived from animals,but Lifecore believes its method of growing the compound frommicroorganisms within hyaluronate is more cost-effective.

In addition to supplying hyaluronate to other companies,Lifecore (NASDAQ:LCBM) develops sterile medical devices forophthalmic, orthopedic and dental surgery. -- Karl Thiel

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