BioTechnica International Inc. has decided to leave thebiotechnology business, announcing on Friday that it has soldits Plant Science Research Inc. subsidiary to DeKalb GeneticsCorp. for undisclosed terms.

Plant Science of Minnetonka, Minn., has been developinggenetically engineered corn and soybeans. In January 1990,BioTechnica announced the first successful transformation of acorn gene into a subsequent generation.

BioTechnica has received long-term marketing rights to certainproducts resulting from the ongoing research programs fundedby DeKalb (NASDAQ:SEEDB) of DeKalb, Ill.

BioTechnica decided to get out of the research business toeliminate double-digit losses, said Charles Baker, companypresident and chief executive. The company lost $3,976,000, or22 cents per share, in its third quarter ended Sept. 30,compared with losses of $3,448,000, or 21 cents per share, inthe like period a year ago.

"Research funding has become harder to come by. We triedstrategic alliances, but nothing worked out," Baker toldBioWorld. "A year-and-a-half ago, when new managementcame in, we decided to maintain a window on researchproducts, but do it more cheaply."

BioTechnica owns five regional seed companies, which willcontinue to produce and sell seed to farmers. It expects tobecome profitable next year.

"The future of the company is to produce and distribute high-value, high-technology products from a number of sources,including DeKalb," Baker said.

BioTechnica, formerly a hybrid of medical and agriculturalbiotech, in January sold a majority stake in its Cambridge,Mass.-based diagnostics, bioproducts and agricultural microbialprograms to a management group. At the same time, it movedits headquarters to Overland Park, Kan.

Shares of BioTechnica (NASDAQ:BIOT) lost 25 cents to $4.88.

DeKalb said its 1992 seed research expenditures will rise 14percent to $33.5 million. Its stock closed at $28.25, down 13cents.

-- Karen Bernstein BioWorld Staff

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