Geron Corp. has received a $75,000 Phase I Small Business InnovativeResearch (SBIR) grant from the National Cancer Institute to developinhibitors of telomerase, an enzyme that disrupts the normal agingprocess in cells, and allows cancer cells to proliferate endlessly.Geron scientists have demonstrated that telomerase _ "theimmortalizing enzyme" _ is present in cancer cells specifically, butnot in normal cells. For this reason, they believe drugs specificallydesigned to inhibit telomerase could have few or no side effects andwould be effective in a wide range of cancer types. (See BioWorldToday, April 12, 1994, p. 1.)The Menlo Park, Calif. company will use the six-month grant toexpand its high-throughput effort to identify specific inhibitors oftelomerase from Geron's structurally diverse chemical libraries. Themoney will also be used to supplement the size and scope of theselibraries. _ Philippa Maister

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