Atara Biotherapeutics Highlights Next-Generation and Off-the-Shelf, Allogeneic CAR T Technologies and Pipeline

Atara has assembled core technologies and capabilities to develop next-generation and off-the-shelf, allogeneic CAR T immunotherapies, collaborating with academic leaders as well as leveraging the Company’s world-class T cell manufacturing and research expertise with the goal of rapidly advancing its CAR T programs

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Nov. 29, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATRA), a leading off-the-shelf, allogeneic T-cell immunotherapy company developing novel treatments for patients with cancer, autoimmune and viral diseases, today presented details of the Company’s next-generation chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR T) technologies and pipeline in conjunction with hosting a CAR T Breakfast Teach-In event in New York, NY.

“Atara is building a leading next-generation and off-the-shelf, allogeneic CAR T pipeline,” said Isaac Ciechanover M.D., Chief Executive Officer and President of Atara Biotherapeutics. “Although the current generation autologous CAR T immunotherapies have transformed outcomes for patients with B cell malignancies, we believe many opportunities exist to improve outcomes, expand to earlier lines of therapy and address areas of high unmet need, including acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and solid tumors. We are collaborating with academic leaders to advance programs using technologies at the forefront of CAR T immunotherapy innovation.”

The event featured next generation CAR T experts:

  • Michel Sadelain, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Center for Cell Engineering, and Head, Gene Expression and Gene Transfer Laboratory, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK)
  • Marco Davila, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Attending Physician, Department of Blood & Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Immunotherapy Medical Director, Cell Therapy Facility, Moffitt Cancer Center

Dr. Sadelain described CAR T technologies including novel co-stimulatory domains modified to generate more physiologic signaling, reduce exhaustion, improve persistence and unlock the solid tumor microenvironment.  Atara and MSK are collaborating to develop next-generation CAR T immunotherapies using several of these innovative CAR T technologies.

Dr. Davila’s presentation focused on developing promising CAR T immunotherapies for patients with AML and B cell malignancies in collaboration with Atara using modified co-stimulatory subdomains designed to improve persistence and reduce T cell exhaustion.

Dietmar Berger, M.D., Ph.D., Global Head of Research & Development of Atara Biotherapeutics introduced the Company’s strategy to leverage these innovative licensed technologies with Atara’s EBV-specific T cell expertise to advance next-generation, off-the-shelf CAR T programs.

Dr. Berger presented results for an EBV.CD19.28z CAR T that demonstrated high CAR transduction, increased frequency of central memory T cell phenotype, specific and selective CD19 activity, low levels of off-target alloreactivity and strong antigen-specific proliferation and persistence. These findings establish feasibility for engineering EBV-specific T cells by leveraging next-generation CAR technologies, and support further development as an off-the-shelf, allogeneic, CAR T platform to generate IND clinical candidates. He concluded by describing Atara’s CAR T preclinical pipeline, including four oncology programs progressing toward IND.

A webcast replay of the Atara CAR T Breakfast Teach-In can be accessed on the Investors and Media section of for 30 days following today’s live event.

About Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc.
Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. (@Atarabio) is a leading off-the-shelf, allogeneic T-cell immunotherapy company developing novel treatments for patients with cancer, autoimmune and viral diseases. Atara’s most advanced T-cell immunotherapy, tab-cel® (tabelecleucel), is in Phase 3 development for patients with Epstein-Barr virus associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (EBV+ PTLD), as well as other EBV associated hematologic and solid tumors, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Atara is also developing T-cell immunotherapies targeting EBV antigens believed to be important for the potential treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). Atara's pipeline also includes next-generation chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) immunotherapies for patients with hematologic and solid tumors, autoimmune and infectious diseases. The company was founded in 2012 and is headquartered in South San Francisco, California.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains or may imply "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. For example, forward-looking statements include statements regarding: the Company’s ability to develop next generation and off-the-shelf, allogeneic CAR T immunotherapies; the Company’s ability to advance programs, including next-generation off-the-shelf CAR T programs, using CAR T technologies; the opportunities to improve outcomes, expand to earlier lines of therapy and address areas of high unmet need; and generation of IND clinical candidates. Because such statements deal with future events and are based on Atara Biotherapeutics' current expectations, they are subject to various risks and uncertainties and actual results, performance or achievements of Atara Biotherapeutics could differ materially from those described in or implied by the statements in this press release. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including those discussed in Atara Biotherapeutics' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including in the “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” sections of the Company’s most recently filed periodic reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q and subsequent filings and in the documents incorporated by reference therein. Except as otherwise required by law, Atara Biotherapeutics disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise.


John Craighead, Atara Biotherapeutics

John Grimaldi, Burns McClellan
212-213-0006 x362

Nancie Steinberg, Burns McClellan
212-213-0006 x318


Source: Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc.