By Karen Bernstein

CellPro Inc. on Friday revealed that it is in a dispute with corporate partner Corange International Ltd. that threatens a $60 million equity investment that the biotech company is supposed to receive this month.

It appears that the pharmaceutical company, which couldn't be reached late on Friday, is looking for an "out" from the relationship. After the market closed, CPRO said it had received a communication from Corange stating that the pharma company believes that the diagnostics collaboration between the companies is unenforceable and that the therapeutics collaboration between them violates European antitrust laws.

As a result, Corange said, CPRO will be unable to satisfy the conditions for closing the $60 million equity investment that is due this month under their agreement. The cell separation company, which closed Friday at $11.25, said the likely price to Corange under the agreement's formula would be $47.40 per share.


The Bothell, Wash., company said it disputes Corange's assertions and would pursue all available avenues