Independent auditors working for Cambridge Biotech Corp. havesuspended their audit of the company's financial statements forfiscal year 1993 because of concerns about certain transactions andtheir possible impact on the company's financial results, theWorcester, Mass., company announced.As a result, the company's stock (NASDAQ:CBCX) tumbled 51percent on Thursday, falling $1.44 a share to $1.38 in heavytrading.On Wednesday night, the Deloitte & Touche auditors resigned andwithdrew their opinion on the company's 1992 financial statements,Cambridge Biotech said."We're trying to get more information out as quickly as we cansurrounding the magnitude of the transactions that have beenquestioned," Jim Bass, the company's chief financial officer, toldBioWorld. "Until we perform the investigation, I cannot commentfurther."Deloitte & Touche declined to comment.Cambridge Biotech said it has engaged special counsel to assist aspecial committee of independent directors in investigating thematter. The special counsel has retained the accounting firm ofCoopers & Lybrand to help in the investigation relating to theprevious auditors' concerns.In January, the company announced a shelf registration of 4 millionnew shares of common stock, the sale of which was part ofCambridge Biotech's plan to offset what it called "substantial"fourth- quarter losses. The company attributed its unspecified lossesto sluggish diagnostic product sales and one-time charges recordedin the fourth quarter "principally as a result of asset re-evaluationand inventory obsolescence."The company reported a net loss of about $9.5 million for the ninemonths ended Sept. 30, 1993, compared with a net loss of $6.3million for the same period in 1992. Revenues were down to $25.5million from $30.1. n

-- Jim Shrine

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