Du Pont Agricultural Products has granted Bio-Rad LaboratoriesInc. an exclusive license to manufacture and lease its Biolisticsparticle gun.

The gun, which was developed at Cornell University, propelsgold or tungsten particles coated with DNA into plant andanimal cells or into microbes. The introduced DNA imparts newtraits to the transformed cells.

Customers leasing the gun from Bio-Rad (AMEX:BIO.A andBIO.B) of Hercules, Calif., will receive a research license to thetechnology. Du Pont, of Wilmington, Del., will grant commerciallicenses to customers developing products. No other details ofthe deal were released. Bio-Rad's class A shares fell $1.13 onTuesday, closing at $23.13.

Du Pont purchased the technology in 1989 from Biolistics Inc., aprivately held company formed by members of Cornell'sfaculty. Du Pont decided to license the technology as part of astrategy to refocus its business, said Robert Giaquinta, managerof biotechnology-global business for Du Pont AgriculturalProducts.

Agracetus Inc. of Madison, Wis., a subsidiary of W.R. Grace &Co., has also developed a particle gun, but has no plans tomarket it, said Jim Timmins, Agracetus' director of productdevelopment.

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