Patents and Innovation in Cancer Therapeutics: Lessons from CellPro

Avital Bar-Shalom, Robert Cook-Deegan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


This article discusses the interaction between intellectual property and cancer treatment. CellPro developed a stem cell separation technology based on research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center. A patent with broad claims to bone marrow stem cell antibodies had been awarded to Johns Hopkins University and licensed to Baxter Healthcare under the 1980 Bayh-Dole Act to promote commercial use of inventions from federally funded research. CellPro got FDA approval more than two years before Baxter but lost patent infringement litigation. NIH elected not to compel Hopkins to license its patents to CellPro. CellPro went out of business, selling its technology to its competitor. Decisions at both firms and university licensing offices, and policies at the Patent and Trademark Office, NIH, and the courts influenced the outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-676
Number of pages40
JournalMilbank Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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