Atara Biotherapeutics (Nasdaq:ATRA) is a leading off-the-shelf, allogeneic T-cell immunotherapy company developing novel treatments for patients with cancer, autoimmune and viral diseases. The company was founded in 2012 and named after Atara Ciechanover who suffered from cancer before passing away.
Originating from over a decade of groundbreaking clinical experience at Memorial Sloan Kettering and QIMR Berghofer, Atara’s off-the-shelf, allogeneic T cells are bioengineered from donors with healthy immune function and allow for rapid delivery from inventory to patients without a requirement for pretreatment. Atara’s T-cell immunotherapies are designed to precisely recognize and eliminate cancerous or diseased cells without affecting normal, healthy cells.
Atara’s most advanced T-cell immunotherapy in development, tabelecleucel, or tab-cel® (formerly known as ATA129), is being developed for the treatment of patients with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (EBV+ PTLD), as well as other EBV associated hematologic and solid tumors, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC).
Tab-cel® is in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of patients with EBV+ PTLD following an allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (MATCH study) or solid organ transplant (ALLELE study) who have failed rituximab, and a Phase 1/2 study of tab-cel® in combination with Merck’s anti-PD-1 (programmed death receptor-1) therapy, KEYTRUDA® (pembrolizumab), in patients with platinum-resistant or recurrent EBV associated NPC is planned for 2018. Tab-cel® is also available to eligible patients with EBV associated hematologic and solid tumors through an ongoing multicenter expanded access protocol (EAP) clinical study.
Atara is also developing off-the-shelf, allogeneic ATA188 and autologous ATA190 T-cell immunotherapies using a complementary targeted antigen recognition technology for specific EBV antigens believed to be important for the potential treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). A Phase 1 clinical study of autologous ATA190 in patients with progressive MS is ongoing. The Company also initiated a multinational Phase 1 ATA188 clinical study in patients with progressive or relapsing-remitting MS in Australia in the fourth quarter of 2017 and in the U.S. in March 2018.
Atara’s clinical pipeline also includes ATA520 targeting Wilms Tumor 1 (WT1) and ATA230 directed against cytomegalovirus (CMV).