The apparent scope of gene therapy has narrowed over the past few years, with most companies now working in the same few areas, including cancer and neurological diseases. But data from the human genome project is likely to widen the scope of potential treatments, as companies apply new genes to gene therapy.

An example is Transgene S.A. (NM:Transgene; TRGNY, Strasbourg, France), which last week picked two genes from Human Genome Sciences Inc. (HGSI, Rockville, Md.): Connective Tissue Growth Factor-2 (CTGF-2 or AngioPro) and Tissue Inhibitor of Metalloproteinase-4 (TIMP-4 or VasoSten). The biological function of these genes, with potential to treat cardiovascular disease, was discovered by adapting Transgene's adenoviral gene delivery vectors for functional genomics.