Exogene Corp., a developer of oxygen-enhancing technologiesfor microbial fermentation and cell culture processes, said ithas raised $6.1 million in a second round of venture funding.

The Monrovia, Calif., company, which had expected to raiseabout $3.75 million, said the funds should be sufficient untilExogene becomes profitable in the third quarter of 1994.

Investors this round include new investor Jeffry M. Picowerand the initial investors, Montgomery Medical Ventures II andMedCorp Development Fund.

Montgomery and MedCorp provided $900,000 in seed fundingwhen Exogene was founded in 1987 and $2.5 million in a firstround in November 1989.

Exogene's core technology is based on inserting hemoglobinfrom the Vitreoscilla microbe into other microbes to enhancecell growth and production of products of interest. Suchproducts include recombinant proteins and antibiotics, aminoacids and specialty chemicals.

"We put the Vitreoscilla hemoglobin into another microbe,enhancing the microbe's ability to scavenge oxygen from mediaand making it more effective in transporting oxygenintracellularly," said Jack Wood, president. "It generatesbetween 30 percent and 200 percent more of the product ofinterest."

Exogene has agreements with 12 companies to help themimprove yields of their products.

The technology, which received a patent last September, isexclusively licensed from the California Institute of Technology.CalTech acquired equity in Exogene as part of the 1989licensing agreement. -- Karen Bernstein

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