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Up to 120 jobs set to go as Novartis closes down Cell and Gene Therapies unit

News has emerged that Novartis plans to close down its Cell and Gene Therapies unit, with up to 120 workers set to lose their jobs.

Although Novartis has consistently emphasised its focus on CAR-T therapies, which reengineers T-cells to attack cancer cells, the closure of this unit raises serious doubts over this particular field of cancer therapy.

Merck Serono in $826m immuno-oncology deal

Merck Serono image

Merck Serono has announced a significant deal with Intrexon to develop and bring new cancer treatments to market.

The German company has agreed an $826 million package with the US biotech, and a $115m upfront payment to license chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T-cell) cancer therapies.

The ‘next-generation’ treatments aim to use the body’s own immune system machinery – T cells – to target and destroy cancerous cells, by using specially engineered receptors to strengthen a cancer patient’s T cell responses and stimulating the immune system to mount a response.

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