The stock of Biospherics Inc. of Beltsville, Md., has risen 156percent since Friday, on news that the company received apatent for an economic method to produce its sugar substitute,D-tagatose.

Biospherics' stock (NASDAQ:BINC) closed Tuesday at $10.25, up$3, following a $3.25 gain on Monday.

The patent, No. 5,002,612, describes the conversion of thesugar D-galactose into D-tagatose. Biospherics obtains galactosefrom lactose in cheese whey. The company already has anissued patent on the use of D-tagatose as a sweetener.

Dr. Lee Zehner, Biospherics' director of biotech programs,reported last month that D-tagatose neither causes weight gainnor increases appetite in animals. The company predicts it willbe five years before D-tagatose reaches the marketplace.

Biospherics said D-tagatose is superior to other sugarsubstitutes because it has the same feel, bulk and taste as realsugar. And unlike Monsanto Co.'s Nutrasweet, D-tagatose can beused in baking. Nutrasweet, composed of the dipeptideaspartame, is a $1 billion market.

-- Carol Talkington Verser, Ph.D. Special to BioWorld

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