LANGHORNE, Pa. -- Ecogen Inc. announced Wednesday that itsigned a $12.75 million research, development and marketingagreement with Roussel-Uclaf of Paris.

Roussel-Uclaf is to market three Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)biopesticide products in Europe, Africa, parts of Asia and LatinAmerica. Ecogen sells the products as Foil for potatoes, Cutlassfor vegetables and Condor for forestry and soybeans.

With the signing of the agreement, Ecogen received a $500,000non-refundable deposit and is to get $1.225 million upon finalapproval by Roussel-Uclaf's supervisory board, which couldcome in March.

The funding marks a dramatic change for Ecogen, which lastFebruary said that it needed to raise between $10 million and$15 million or face a filing for bankruptcy protection. Thecompany averted that crisis when New York investor DavidBlech invested an initial $1.5 million last March, which hesubsequently raised last summer to a $10 million investmentin exchange for a 42 percent stake in the company.

Blech's cash infusion allowed Ecogen to again seek out potentialoverseas partners. "We've had discussions with many morecompanies that wouldn't talk to us before," said Peter B.Stevens, Ecogen's chief financial officer.

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