CellPro Inc. came two steps closer last week to losing the market for its Ceprate SC Stem Cell Concentration System, as an FDA advisory panel recommended approval of rival Baxter Healthcare Corp.'s Isolex 300 Magnetic Cell Separator System, and a federal court judge granted an injunction against sales of Ceprate once Isolex is approved.

In a sharply worded ruling, Judge Roderick McKelvie of the U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del., ordered CPRO to pay Johns Hopkins University, Becton Dickinson & Co. and Baxter treble damages of $7 million for willful infringement of the plaintiffs' patents involving CD34+ stem cell selection technology. He also entered an injunction against sales of Ceprate after Isolex is approved by the FDA