Atara Biotherapeutics Announces Planned Chief Executive Officer Transition

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Jan. 03, 2019 (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 announced that Isaac Ciechanover, M.D., plans to step down as the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer. The Board of Directors has initiated a search for his successor. Dr. Ciechanover will remain in his role as President and CEO until the earlier of the appointment of his successor or June 30, 2019.

“Isaac is a visionary founder and CEO who started Atara in honor of his mother to transform the lives of patients with serious medical conditions,” said Carol G. Gallagher, Pharm. D., Atara’s lead independent director. “Over the past six years, Isaac has dedicated himself to building Atara into a leading T-cell immunotherapy company. Atara’s collaboration with MSK announced today furthers the Company’s vision to develop ground-breaking CAR T immunotherapies. We on the board wish to thank Isaac for his extraordinary leadership and look forward to his continued contribution to advancing new medicines and improving patient lives.”

Dr. Ciechanover commented, “It has been a privilege to lead Atara from its founding and through its transformation into a leading late-stage development company with world-class manufacturing capabilities. The dedicated and talented Atara team is now advancing rapidly toward commercializing the first-off-the-shelf, allogeneic T-cell immunotherapy. I look forward to working with the Board to transition a successor who can build on all our success and guide Atara in the years ahead.”

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 hematological malignancies 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 hematological malignancies 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: Atara’s search for Dr. Ciechanover’s successor and Dr. Ciechanover’s services to Atara during the transition; Atara’s potential to deliver ground-breaking therapies for patients in need; and Atara’s ability to advance programs with near-term clinical potential. 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.