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Ecogen's AQ10 Biofungicide Receives Approval in Italy.

Initial Sales of AQ10, for Control of Powdery Mildew on Grapes, Expected In

Europe in the First Quarter of 2000

LANGHORNE, Pa., Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Ecogen Inc. (Nasdaq: EECN), a leading developer of environmentally friendly, microbial pesticides, announced today that its distribution partner in Italy, Intrachem Bio Italia Srl, has been granted approval for the use of Ecogen's AQ10 biofungicide on grapes. The initial target market is for control of powdery mildew on grapes which comprises an area of 913,000 hectares, of which 650,000 hectares are regularly infected with powdery mildew.

"The registration of AQ10 in Italy marks a major milestone for Ecogen in the marketing of AQ10. Grape acreage in Europe is substantially larger than the U.S., with acreage in Italy alone more than twice that in the western U.S.," said James P. Reilly, Jr., Ecogen's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "This approval marks the culmination of a six-year effort to obtain the registration of AQ10 in Europe." Ecogen has received an initial order for AQ10 from Intrachem Bio Italia and expects to ship product in the first quarter of 2000.

In addition to grapes, AQ10 approvals are expected for other crops, including vegetables, in 2000. Registrations of AQ10 are also being pursued in France, Spain, Greece and Mexico. AQ10 is the first powdery mildew biofungicide to be approved according to the new E.U. directives (91/414).

AQ10 is based on the organism Ampelomyces quisqualis and is specific for control of powdery mildew. AQ10 was first registered in the U.S. on grapes in late 1994, with commercial introduction in 1996.

"The unique characteristics of AQ10 extend the market of this new biofungicide well beyond organic farming", said Antonio Cutri, Director of Intrachem Bio Italia Srl. Due to its particular mode of action that reduces the risk of resistance, we expect to see AQ10 included in many Integrated Pest Management programs. AQ10 will be presented to the market as a 'resistance management tool' that can help to extend the commercial life of conventional fungicides. We expect AQ10 to take a substantial share of what is considered to be the most important powdery mildew fungicide market in Europe.

Intrachem Bio Italia Srl is an affiliate of Intrachem Bio (International) SA, which is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland. Intrachem specializes in marketing their BIOGARD line of products, which includes products for plant nutrition, biostimulants, pest management and crop protection that have been officially approved for use in organic crop production. Intrachem distributes its products through affiliated companies in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Greece. Intrachem distributes Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) insecticides in Italy and Spain, which are also manufactured by Ecogen.

Ecogen is a leader in the development of natural microbial pesticide products for the control of plant disease and insect pests. Ecogen's growing portfolio of products has been developed to address the concerns of pest management with the added assurance of environmental compatibility. The Company's products include: biofungicides -- Aspire(R) for post-harvest rot diseases and AQ10(R) for powdery mildew, as well as the Bt bioinsecticides -- CRYMAX(R), Lepinox(R) and Condor(R) to control caterpillars. Additional bioinsecticides under development include: Cruiser(R), an insecticidal nematode product for soil insect pest control and CryStar(TM), a Bt bioinsecticide for mosquito control.

This discussion contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from expected results. These include: the efficacy, pricing, ease of use and market acceptance of the Company's products; the successful development, registration, commercialization and marketing of new products; the successful scale-up of the Company's manufacturing processes for the Company's products; and economic and environmental considerations which impact the amount of pesticides used, such as weather conditions and insect infestation levels. These factors are discussed more fully in the Company's public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the 1998 Annual Report on Form 10K and the Quarterly Report on Form 10Q for the quarter ended July 31, 1999.

Editor's Note: To access Ecogen's news releases by fax, 24 hours a day, call toll free 800-758-5804, ext. 104610.
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Publication:PR Newswire
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 20, 2000
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