Hybritech Inc. on Monday announced that its board of directorshas decided to discontinue the company's discovery anddevelopment efforts in radioimmune therapy (RIT) and in vivoimaging at the end of the year.

The discontinued research was directed toward diagnosing andtreating colon cancer and other cancers. Hybritech of San Diego,a subsidiary of Eli Lilly & Co., said it is searching for partiesinterested in licensing the technology.

A Lilly spokesman declined to comment on financialimplications of the decision, but said it will allow Hybritech tofocus on its in vitro diagnostics business.

Hybritech is marketing a bladder cancer test developed byMatritech Inc. of Cambridge, Mass., and Matritech's founder,president and chief executive officer, Stephen Chubb, viewedHybritech's decision to discontinue its RIT and in vivo imagingprograms as a positive step. He agreed that it will freeHybritech to devote more resources to its in vitro diagnosticsbusiness unit.

Hybritech's decision was not related to an announcement onMonday that Lilly will be streamlining its operations andcutting 4,000 positions, according to the Lilly spokesman.

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.