BioTechnica International Inc. announced Tuesday that it hascompleted an agreement with MGI Pharma Inc. (NASDAQ:MOGN)to license the latter's technology for improving the proteinquality of corn.

The exclusive license provides commercial rights to a gene incorn that raises the level of tryptophan, an amino acid.BioTechnica (NASDAQ:BIOT) is also developing genes for twoother amino acids: lysine and methionine. It conducted fieldtrials of transgenic corn this spring in four Midwestern states.

The market for corn for feeder use exceeds $15 billion,according to BioTechnica. Other companies that conductedrecent field trials of transformed corn include DeKalb GeneticsCorp. (NASDQ:SEEDB) and Monsanto Co. (NYSE:MTC).

-- Steve Usdin BioWorld Washington Bureau

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