Organogenesis Inc. announced on Monday that it has signed aletter of understanding for an exclusive marketing agreementfor its Testskin in vitro testing products with Toyobo Co. Ltd. ofJapan.

The agreement grants Toyobo exclusive marketing rights to sellTestskin and related contract testing services in Japan.Organogenesis will get undisclosed royalty payments. Theunderstanding includes an initial test marketing phase, afterwhich the companies will enter into a long-term marketingagreement, according to Organogenesis (AMEX:ORG).

Stock of the Cambridge, Mass., company gained $1.38 to $14.13on Monday.

Testskin, which was launched in the U.S. market in 1991, is afull-thickness living skin equivalent consisting of three layers.It is used in studies of the absorption and permeability ofpharmaceuticals, cosmetics, consumer goods and chemicals.

Organogenesis received a U.S. patent for Testskin in May 1989and a Japanese patent is pending, said spokeswoman JenniferPierce.

The size of the Japanese market has not been determined,according to Pierce. She said that the Japanese government isconsidering banning some animal tests, and Japanesecompanies are aggressively pursuing alternative test methods.-- Steve Usdin

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