We report the purification from pig brain of a factor supporting the survival of, and fibre outgrowth from, cultured embryonic chick sensory neurons. The purified factor migrates as one single band, mol. wt. 12 300, on gel electrophoresis in the presence of sodium dodecylsulphate (SDS) and is a basic molecule (pI greater than or equal to 10.1). Approximately 1 microgram factor was isolated from 1.5 kg brain. The final degree of purification was estimated to be 1.4 X 10(6)-fold, and the specific activity 0.4 ng/ml/unit, which is similar to that of nerve growth factor (NGF) using the same assay system. This factor is the first neurotrophic factor to be purified since NGF, from which it is clearly distinguished because it has different antigenic and functional properties.