Last spring, the British pharmaceutical firm Glaxo Inc. launched an ambitious $10 million Cardiovascular Discovery Grants Program. The company, whose United States office is located in Research Triangle Park, N.C., announced 20 grants, each providing a maximum of $250,000 per year for three years to a researcher or team (see accompanying table). The proclaimed purpose of the program: to support research that may lead to the discovery of therapeutic agents for treatment or prevention of cardiovascular disorders. Among the grant proposals received by Glaxo, the 20 winning entries showed the highest "likelihood of at least pointing the way" to new cardiovascular drugs, says Don Kirksey, director, business opportunities for the firm.

But scientists anticipating a request for proposals for Glaxo's next round of grants may have to wait a long time. The company has not yet decided whether to support more researchers or, alternatively, to limit the program to the...

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