Chemical immunosuppression developed at the beginning of clinical transplantation remains the basis of immunosuppressive protocols used today. Clinical trials of new agents focus on the incremental improvement in one of four areas of immunotherapy: induction, basic maintenance, adjuvant and steroid therapy. Induction immunotherapy developments include the use of humanized antibodies, specific targets (basiliximab, daclizumab) and lymphocyte depletion (anti-thymocyte globulin, campath-1H). Promising results from pilot trials allow for subsequent low dose maintenance monotherapy. New inhibitors of calcineurin isoforms (ISATx247) may disassociate the anti-rejection effect from the toxicity of conventional calcineurin inhibitors. Revived investigation of older anti-proliferative or anti-metabolite drugs (rapamycin, mycophenolic acid, leflunomide) show promise in preventing B-cell responses and reducing chronic rejection but development of derivatives (everolimus, mycophenolate mofetil, ERL 080, MNA 279, MNA 715) may have a stronger commercial than experimental basis. Trials of steroid immunotherapy have focused on steroid elimination but trial of newer locally active steroids may be beneficial.