Athena Neurosciences Inc. announced Wednesday that it hasexpanded its research collaboration with Eli Lilly and Co. todevelop therapeutics for treating Alzheimer's disease, andextended and expanded its collaboration with Lilly subsidiaryHybritech Inc. to develop diagnostics for Alzheimer's. Athenaalso entered into a new collaboration and licensing agreementwith Innogenetics N.V. for antibodies to be used in anAlzheimer's diagnostic assay.

Athena (NASDAQ:ATHN) of South San Francisco, Calif., hascollaborated with Lilly since 1988 on basic scientific researchin Alzheimer's. Under the new amended agreement betweenthe two companies, Athena will expand its internal Alzheimer'sdisease research activities in chemistry and pharmacology, andwill be granted certain U.S. co-promotion rights to any productsthat result from the collaboration.

Athena and Hybritech of San Diego have extended theircollaboration in Alzheimer's diagnostics for detecting theplaques and tangles associated with the disease's pathologyuntil the end of 1994.

The two companies will also evaluate an antibody-based testthat measures the levels of the protein tau -- the principalcomponent of neurofibrillary tangles -- present in humancerebrospinal fluid. Athena is licensing the tau antibodies fromthe Belgian company Innogenetics. Athena and Innogeneticswill also refine the antibodies for human clinical studies.

On Monday, Athena announced it was dropping development ofan epilepsy compound and acquiring marketing anddistribution rights of a Parkinson's treatment from Lilly. --Jennifer Van Brunt

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