Novartis (NVS) announced that it has dissolved its internal cell and gene therapy unit. The company plans to redeploy around 280 of the 400 employees in the group to other positions in the company while 120 will be let go. The company believes that a dedicated unit no longer makes sense. The action will not affect the company's support of the Novartis-Penn Center for Advanced Cellular Therapeutics, unveiled in February on Penn Medicine's campus. Novartis' seed investment of $20M helped build the center which will employ 100 cell therapy specialists. It entered into a global research and licensing agreement with UPenn in August 2012 to study CAR therapies. It will also not affect Novartis' plan to file a marketing application with the FDA in early 2017 seeking approval of CTL019 for the treatment of pediatric relapsed/refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia.