As EntreMed Inc. approaches the start of Phase I testing of its endostatin anti-angiogenic protein in the fall, the company is exploring alternatives to use of the protein itself. Thus, the company's gene therapy research collaboration with Cell Genesys Inc., announced last week, may avoid problems with manufacturing of the protein and the reproducibility of results with protein administration (see BioCentury, Feb. 16). On the other side of the coin, the partners will face gene therapy competition from Genetix Pharmaceuticals Inc.

ENMD and CEGE initially will evaluate CEGE's adenoviral and adeno-associated viral (AAV) gene delivery systems in combination with ENMD's genes for endostatin and Angiostatin anti-angiogenesis proteins in preclinical studies to treat cancer.