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GRACE AGRACETUS UNIT LICENSES COTTON TECHNOLOGY TO MONSANTO

 GRACE AGRACETUS UNIT LICENSES COTTON TECHNOLOGY TO MONSANTO
 MIDDLETON, Wis., March 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Agracetus, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of W. R. Grace & Co. (NYSE: GRA), today announced an agreement with Monsanto Company to utilize Agracetus technology that is essential for developing genetically engineered cotton. The proprietary technology covers transgenic cotton as well as a specific biological technique commonly used to insert new genes into cotton.
 This transaction confirms Agracetus' position as a world leader in gene delivery technology. "Consolidating our gene delivery leadership with others' expertise in specific genes is fundamental to our company strategy," according to Russell Smestad, Agracetus vice president of finance and commercial development. "Our objective is to get products on the market as quickly as possible, both through cooperative relationships as well as aggressive internal product development. This is essential if people are to realize the full potential of plant biotechnology."
 This agreement enables Monsanto and its marketing partners to accelerate development of cotton products with improved agronomic traits such as herbicide and insect resistance, while providing to Agracetus a substantial upfront fee and ongoing royalties. Specific terms of the agreement with Monsanto were not disclosed.
 In addition to creating more effective ways to grow cotton, Agracetus scientists are using genetic engineering techniques to create cotton fibers exhibiting dramatic improvements in dye-binding, absorbency, or wrinkle resistance, and incorporating valuable properties normally associated with functional synthetic polymers. Agracetus is the clear leader in new market applications for the world's most important natural fiber via its proprietary and efficient ACCELL(TM) gene delivery technology. Market introduction of the first transgenic cotton is expected in the mid-1990s.
 Agracetus, Inc., located in Middleton, Wis., is a technology leader in the development of genetically engineered products for the seed, food, and biomedical industries. W. R. Grace & Co. is the world's largest specialty chemicals company with a leadership position in health care.
 -0- 3/18/92
 /CONTACT: Chuck Suits of W. R. Grace & Co., 407-362-2600 or 800-GRACE99/
 (GRA) CO: W. R. Grace & Co.; Agracetus, Inc.; Monsanto Company ST: Florida, Wisconsin IN: CHM SU: LIC


AW-SS-AK -- FL009 -- 9232 03/18/92 12:17 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 18, 1992
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