Invitron Corp. of St. Louis announced Friday plans to forge anew company from its last uncommitted asset -- technologydeveloped at the its laboratories in Redwood City, Calif.

Invitron agreed to form the new, as yet unnamed, companywith Schroder Venture Advisers Inc. of New York, which is tocontribute an unspecified amount of cash.

Invitron, which agreed in December to sell its mammalian cellculture facility in St. Louis to Centocor Inc., will contributetechnology and retain a minority interest in the new company,which will be located in Redwood City. The technologycomprises substantially all of Invitron's assets, aside fromthose that Invitron agreed in December to sell to Centocor ofMalvern, Pa. Final terms have not yet been negotiated withCentocor.

Technology included in the new company are three compounds:Human Immunomodulatory Lectin-1 (IML-1) for treatingautoimmune diseases; Protease Nexin-1 (PN-1) for woundhealing, nerve growth and coagulation disorders; andBactericidal Permeability Increasing Factor (BPI), for toxicshock. All are in pre-clinical development.

Invitron's board earlier this month recommended thatshareholders vote at a special meeting in March to liquidate theremaining assets of the company.

The board stands by the recommendation to liquidate, saidRichard Kaufman, Invitron's executive vice president. If thecompany does liquidate, Invitron could sell its shares in thenew company or distribute them to Invitron shareholders,Kaufman said. -- Karen Bernstein

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