Ecogen Inc. announced that its wholly owned Australiansubsidiary, Ecogen Australia Pty Ltd., has established a cross-licensing agreement with the Commonwealth Scientific andIndustrial Research Organization (CSIRO) of Australia todevelop a nematode-based biopesticide product.

The agreement gives Ecogen (NASDAQ:EECN) of Langhorne, Pa.,co-exclusive rights to patents that CSIRO holds in insecticidalnematode fermentation, formulation and production processes,while CSIRO will receive co-exclusive rights to patents thatEcogen Australia holds in insecticidal nematode fermentation.

Insecticidal nematodes are microscopic roundworms that seekout and attack insect larvae in the ground or in plant stems.According to Ecogen, these nematodes are wholly insecticidaland do not feed on plants, leave residues, or have an adverseeffect on humans. Ninety percent of all insects live in the soilduring some part of their life cycle.

CSIRO's Division of Entomology, based in Canberra, is the largestscientific organization in Australia dedicated to the study ofinsects.

Ecogen's stock closed Tuesday at $8.13, down 13 cents a share.

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