DuPont slates $2 million for Crop Genetics products

December 09, 1992|By Liz Bowie | Liz Bowie,Staff Writer

DuPont Agricultural Products has decided to pump $2 million into Crop Genetics International Corp. to help the company commercialize several products to protect garden vegetables and orchards from insects, the companies said yesterday.

A year ago, the two companies formed an alliance to begin producing insecticidal viruses, and Crop Genetics, a Hanover-based biotech company, began renovating a 75,500-square-foot manufacturing facility in Columbia.

The company hopes the Environmental Protection Agency gives its approval soon to begin marketing the products and that manufacturing will begin by September 1993,said Joseph Kelly, Crop Genetics' chief executive.

The announcement followed a recent upswing in the company's stock price as investors began to anticipate that DuPont would reaffirm its commitment. The stock, which trades on NASDAQ, closed at $6.125 yesterday up 25 cents.

The new products, if approved, will be aimed at a market of high value agricultural products that need to be sprayed often with conventional insecticides.

For instance, Spot-x, which is aimed at the beet army worm, would be used by commercial farmers growing lettuce and tomatoes at first. But the beet army worm also attacks chrysanthemums and Mr. Kelly said Crop Genetics might go after the smaller greenhouse market.

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