Novartis folds cell and gene therapy division, cuts 120 positions

Switzerland-based Novartis will disband its cell and gene therapy unit, incorporating the division's operations into other areas of the company, reported Reuters. The restructuring will eliminate 120 positions,but most of the employees will be reassigned to new roles within the company, Novartis said.

Novartis underwent a corporate makeover in May when it split its pharmaceutical unit into two decisions, dedicating one exclusively for the development of cancer immunotherapy drugs. A spokesperson from the company said the folding of the cell and gene therapy division is an extension of this original reorganization.

"Most associates who were previously dedicated to cell and gene therapies will now be redeployed to areas where they will share their knowledge and improve execution of novel therapeutics in the immunotherapy space," a Novartis spokesperson told Reuters.

Despite the changes, Novartis said it still plans to file a drug application next year for CTL019, a T-cell therapy intended to treat patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. The move will not affect the company's focus on developing new drugs for hard-to-treat diseases through gene editing, according to the report.

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