The identification of lipopolysaccharide binding protein (LBP) and CD14 as key molecules in the cellular response to endotoxin has been a major advance in unravelling the pathophysiological basis of Gram-negative sepsis. Much interest has focused on developing effective anti-endotoxin treatments to abrogate the inflammatory consequences of Gram-negative infection. The therapeutic options can be divided into those aimed at neutralizing or clearing circulating endotoxin, including anti-endotoxin antibodies and endotoxin neutralizing proteins, and those that antagonize the effects of endotoxin on human cells--for example, lipid A analogues. Initial experiences with anti-lipopolysaccharide antibodies have been disappointing but a new generation of anti-endotoxin agents is about to enter clinical trials. Whether these will prove sufficiently effective to reduce the morbidity and mortality of Gram-negative sepsis remains to be seen.