A novel form of recombinant human bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) was explored for effective incorporation and long-term retention into fibrin ingrowth matrices. The solubility of native BMP-2 is greatly dependent on its glycosylation. To enhance retention of BMP-2 in fibrin matrices, a nonglycosylated form (nglBMP-2), which is less soluble than the native glycosylated protein, was produced recombinantly and evaluated in critical-size defects in the rat calvarium (group n = 6). When 1 or 20 μg nglBMP-2 was incorporated by precipitation within the matrix, 74 ± 4% and 98 ± 2% healing was observed in the rat calvarium, respectively, as judged radiographically by closure of the defect at 3 weeks. More soluble forms of BMP-2, used as controls, induced less healing, demonstrating a positive correlation between low solubility, retention in vitro, and healing in vivo. Subsequently, the utility of nglBMP-2 was explored in a prospective veterinary clinical trial for inter-carpal fusion in dogs, replacing the standard-of-care, namely autologous cancellous autograft, with nglBMP-2 in fibrin. In a study of 10 sequential canine patients, fibrin with 600 μg/ml nglBMP-2 performed better than autograft in the first weeks of bone healing and comparably thereafter. Furthermore, a greater fraction of animals treated with nglBMP-2 in fibrin demonstrated bone bridging across each of the treated joints at both 12 and 17 weeks than in animals treated with autograft. These results suggest that evaluation in a human clinical setting of nonglycosylated BMP-2 in fibrin matrices might be fruitful. © 2003 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.