Call it the angiogenesis inhibitor shuffle. Bristol-Myers Squibb of New York dropped clinical plans for the protein angiostatin, but is proceeding to Phase I with a small molecule. A National Cancer Institute lab that last fall questioned the viability of endostatin now confirms the protein can be synthesized and may be back on track for human tests. And a third, unnamed protein, not yet reported in the scientific literature, has been licensed to Genzyme Corp. of Framingham, Mass., with clinical trials tentatively planned for 2000.

All three proteins were discovered in the Children's Hospital of Massachusetts lab of M. Judah Folkman, by Michael S. O'Reilly and colleagues. Angiostatin and endostatin basked in publicity after reports that the compounds dramatically shrank tumors in animal models, then they were bashed publicly because some other labs reported that the compounds were unstable and difficult to manufacture.1,2 Folkman and O'Reilly--who a Children's...

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