Ecogen Inc. announced on Monday its acquisition of a majorityinterest in First Mississippi Corp. Inc., a biopesticide company,for about $900,000 in Ecogen stock and a small amount of cash.

Ecogen transferred 61,000 shares of its stock to FirstMississippi Corp. Inc.'s parent, First Mississippi Corp.(NYSE:FRM).

Ecogen stock (NASDAQ:EECN), which closed on Monday at$13.50, up 75 cents, represented 95.5 percent of the deal,according to an Ecogen spokesman. The Langhorne, Pa., companyacquired a 51 percent interest in First Mississippi Corp. Inc.

First Mississippi's principal asset is a 51 percent interest inFRM Agricultural Sciences Partnership (FASP) of Israel, whichis developing biological pesticides. Ecogen said it has openeddiscussions about acquiring the remaining interest in FASP.

FASP's development efforts focus on three areas: hyperplasticfungi that kill other fungi, a yeast formulation that protectsstored fruit from post-harvest rot, and a Pseudomonasbacterial biopesticide for control of nematodes that infectplant roots.

Field trials on FASP's products have been under way for twoyears in Israel and Europe, according to Ecogen, and U.S. trialsare planned for 1992.

The acquisition "expands Ecogen's scope beyond BT (Bacillusthuringiensis) to biopesticides derived from other sources,"Ecogen said.

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