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Leadership

Pascal Touchon

President and Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Touchon joined Atara Biotherapeutics as President, Chief Executive Officer and member of the Board of Directors in June 2019. Dr. Touchon has over 30 years of global biopharmaceutical leadership experience. Previously he was at Novartis Oncology serving as Global Head, Cell & Gene and member of the Oncology Executive Committee, with responsibility for the Oncology Cell & Gene unit financial performance and all activities including the global launch of KYMRIAH® (tisagenlecleucel), securing regulatory approval and reimbursement in major markets, expanding global CAR T manufacturing and technical operations, overseeing multiple new clinical studies and building a strong leadership team.

Prior to this, at Novartis he served as Global Head, Strategy, Business Development, Oncology where he was responsible for various activities including early commercial strategy, portfolio management, business development and external collaborations as well as member of the Oncology Executive Committee. Dr. Touchon has also held leadership roles in research, marketing, general management and business development at various companies including Servier, Sanofi, Glaxo and Glaxo-Wellcome.

Dr. Touchon holds a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine from Paul Sabatier University (Toulouse, France), a Diplôme d’Etudes Superieures Specialisees (DESS) in Management from Institut d’Administration des Entreprises (Toulouse, France) and an MBA from INSEAD (Fontainebleau, France).

Christopher Haqq, M.D., Ph.D.

EVP, R&D and Chief Scientific Officer

Dr. Christopher Haqq is the EVP, Chief Scientific Officer, and joined Atara Biotherapeutics in September 2012. He brings 20 years of clinical, academic and drug development experience from biopharma companies large and small. He was recently Vice President for Clinical Research and Development at Cougar Biotechnology and Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen, where he was the lead clinician for a pivotal prostate cancer study leading to market approval for Zytiga® (abiraterone acetate). Previously at Amgen, he led early development studies of the anti-insulin like growth factor type 1 receptor AMG 479 (ganitumab) antibody. He has served as medical monitor for more than 10 clinical trials and has contributed to drug development programs for a wide range of molecules. Chris has worked closely with the European Medicines Agency, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other global regulatory agencies–filing IND applications, new drug applications, special protocol assessments and their international equivalents. Earlier in his career, Chris practiced as a medical oncologist and led a translational science laboratory as an Assistant Adjunct Professor in the Division of Hematology/Oncology at the University of California, San Francisco. In his post-graduate training, also at UCSF, he served as an Intern and Resident in Internal Medicine, Fellow in Medical Oncology and Fellow in Molecular Medicine. Chris completed his M.D. and Ph.D. at Harvard Medical School and his B.S. at Stanford University. He is board certified in Medical Oncology and Internal Medicine. Chris is an inventor of several patents and an author of more than 50 medical publications. In his free time, he enjoys astronomy and photography.

Joe Newell

EVP, Chief Technical Operations Officer

Joe Newell joined Atara Biotherapeutics as the EVP, Chief Technical Operations Officer in April 2017 with global responsibility for Technical Operations and Facilities.

Prior to joining Atara, he was Vice President, North America Manufacturing at Alexion Pharmaceuticals, a company dedicated to treating patients with life-threatening ultra-rare disorders. He was responsible for bulk drug substance production of Soliris® and the transgenic manufacturing operations for Kanuma®, the only FDA-approved treatment for lysosomal acid lipase deficiency (LAL-D).

Previously, Joe spent several years at Amgen where he served in a number of global leadership roles in Manufacturing and Supply Chain, including an expatriate leadership assignment in Puerto Rico, where he was part of launch efforts for Prolia®, Xgeva® and Repatha®.  Earlier in his career, he held leadership and entrepreneurial roles with Catalent Pharma Solutions, Matrix Pharmaceutical and SRI International.

Joe holds a BS in Biology from California Polytechnic University, Pomona.  Away from work, he is dedicated to his wife and three children.  For fun, he enjoys the outdoors, sports and a variety of restoration projects.

Utpal Koppikar

Chief Financial Officer

Utpal Koppikar joined Atara Biotherapeutics as Chief Financial Officer in June 2018. Prior to joining Atara, Mr. Koppikar held several senior financial leadership positions at Gilead Sciences, including as Vice President of Corporate and Operations Finance, responsible for R&D, corporate, G&A, process development and manufacturing, and strategic sourcing. During his tenure, he led the three-year financial planning process and financial integration of Kite Pharma upon that company’s acquisition by Gilead in October 2017. In a previous role at Gilead as Vice President of Finance Europe, Middle East and Australia, Mr. Koppikar played a key role partnering with commercial for multiple product launches in the HIV and HCV franchises. Prior to Gilead, he served in multiple finance roles of increasing responsibility at Amgen. He began his career at Honeywell Aerospace (formerly AlliedSignal).

Mr. Koppikar earned his B.S. in aerospace engineering at the University of Maryland and received a M.S. in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Stanford University. He also holds an MBA in finance and marketing from The Anderson School at UCLA.

Derrell D. Porter, M.D.

SVP, Global Commercial Head

Dr. Derrell Porter joined Atara Biotherapeutics as SVP, Global Commercial Head in May 2017 with responsibility for worldwide commercial operations.

Prior to joining Atara, he was a Vice President with Gilead Sciences, where he was responsible for corporate strategy, long term commercial planning, and global launch preparation for pipeline compounds in all of Gilead’s therapeutic areas – Oncology, HIV, Liver Diseases (HCV, HBV, and NASH), CV, and Inflammatory Disorders. During his tenure at Gilead, he oversaw the commercial preparation for 8 global brands and expanded the team’s pricing/market access as well as competitive intelligence capabilities. Before Gilead, he was with AbbVie and Amgen, where he held multiple US, EU and global roles including VP/GM, EU regional marketing lead, sales manager and corporate development director.

Earlier in his career, Derrell was a McKinsey & Company management consultant in Los Angeles and worked on global biopharmaceutical engagements. Dr. Porter currently serves on the board of directors for Biosortia Pharmaceuticals.

Derrell holds a B.S. from UCLA, an M.D. from University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine where he was a Gamble Scholar, and an M.B.A. from The Wharton School. In his free time, he enjoys biking, reading non-fiction, cooking, and traveling with his two children.

Mina Kim

SVP, Corporate Strategy and General Counsel

Mina Kim joined Atara Biotherapeutics as SVP, General Counsel in April 2018.  Ms. Kim has nearly 20 years of corporate legal experience, most recently as General Counsel of the publicly listed company Sunrun Inc., where she was responsible for corporate governance, SEC reporting, tax, corporate and project finance, litigation and employment law. Before joining Sunrun in March 2014, Ms. Kim served as General Counsel of Fly Leasing Limited and Vice President of legal at BBAM Aircraft Management. Earlier in her career she held positions of increasing responsibility at Williams-Sonoma and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP. Ms. Kim holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School, Cambridge, MA and her B.A. from Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.

 

Steve Bertram

SVP, Global HR

Steve Bertram is the SVP of Global Human Resources, and joined Atara Biotherapeutics in August 2016. Prior to joining Atara, Steve was with Amgen where he held a number of business facing HR executive level roles with both domestic and global accountabilities and staff.  Functional areas of HR leadership included Global Development, Global Commercial, Translational Sciences, Discovery Research, and Technical Operations.

Prior to Amgen, Steve was with the Coca-Cola organization in Atlanta supporting their flagship global Marketing team.  Steve began his career with The Upjohn Company in Kalamazoo, Michigan holding roles of increasing accountability in corporate, commercial and international organizations.  Steve holds a BBA from Western Michigan University in Business and an MBA from Michigan State University.

Away from work, Steve enjoys time with his wife and three kids.  For fun he enjoys scuba diving, canoeing in Michigan, attending sporting events and travel.

AJ Joshi, M.D.

Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Manher (AJ) Joshi was appointed to the role of Atara Biotherapeutics’ Chief Medical Officer in September 2018. He joined Atara in August 2016, initially serving as Senior Vice President, Global Medical Affairs. He brings over 15 years of clinical, drug development and commercialization experience in orphan and large markets. He has built and led medical organizations through several launches across a broad range of therapeutics areas including neuromuscular disease, neurosciences, genetics, metabolic diseases, urology, and dermatology. AJ’s previous medical affairs and organizational leadership roles include US Medical Affairs Therapeutic Area Head at Allergan, SVP Strategic Development and Medical Operations at Synageva, and Vice President Medical Affairs and Operations at Genzyme.

Dr. Joshi received his MD from the Boston University School of Medicine, his BA from Boston University, and completed his Internship and Residency in Medicine at Yale. In his free time, AJ enjoys photography, traveling, and playing the guitar.

Renu Vaish

SVP, Global Regulatory Affairs

Renu Vaish joined Atara Biotherapeutics as Senior Vice President, Global Regulatory Affairs in September 2018. Ms. Vaish brings over 20 years of leadership in Regulatory Affairs contributing to multiple successful approvals including RenaGel®, Velcade®, Revlimid®, Abraxane® and Keytruda®. Prior to joining Atara, she was Associate Vice President, Global Regulatory Affairs, Oncology at Merck, where she pioneered a variety of novel regulatory pathways in immunotherapy and checkpoint inhibition. She also previously led regulatory affairs teams at Edge Therapeutics, Celgene, Amgen and Millennium Pharmaceuticals.

Ms. Vaish holds a Bachelor of Science in Cell and Molecular Biology from Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, and a Master of Science in Regulatory Affairs and Health Policy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences in Boston. Renu also holds certifications from the Women’s Leadership Program at Harvard Business School and in Global BioExecutive Leadership from Berkeley Haas School of Business. Additionally, she is an active member of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA), Friends of Cancer Research and the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

 

Tim Valko

SVP, Global Manufacturing and Supply Chain

Tim Valko joined Atara Biotherapeutics in August 2017 and serves as Senior Vice President, Global Manufacturing and Supply Chain. He is an accomplished operations professional with over 25 years of leadership in biopharmaceutical manufacturing, operations strategic planning, and clinical/commercial supply chain.

Prior to joining Atara as Vice President, Supply Chain, Tim held various leadership roles at Amgen, including leadership of Site Supply Chain, Bulk Manufacturing, Global Supply Chain, Operations Risk Management, and Strategic Planning across Amgen’s global manufacturing network. Tim brings additional experience from Vaccine and Biopharmaceutical production at Warner Lambert/Parke-Davis and Pfizer in Michigan, including leadership roles across Manufacturing, Inspection and Packaging for Sterile Drug Products, Clinical Supply Chain and Global Pharmaceutical Sciences. Tim has been involved in the launch and commercial supply for over 20 marketed biopharmaceutical products.

Tim is currently Board Chair, Rx-360 Supply Chain consortium, an industry led nonprofit that addresses biopharmaceutical and device supply chain security to public health concerns and patient safety.

Tim received his bachelor’s degree in biology at Adrian College, Adrian, Michigan. Away from work, Tim enjoys time with his wife and two daughters, exploring the outdoors, including hiking, biking, paddling and archery.

José Eduardo Vidal, Ph.D.

SVP, Quality Assurance and Process Sciences

Dr. José Eduardo Vidal joined Atara Biotherapeutics in August 2018 and as SVP, Quality Assurance and Process Sciences. Prior to Atara, Dr. Vidal served as Vice President, Drug Substance Operations at Amgen where he oversaw 1,200 employees and managed a $500 million budget across their global drug substance manufacturing network.  Previously at Amgen he was Executive Director, Process Development, where he collaborated closely with manufacturing and quality to accelerate the delivery of a product portfolio comprised of over ten Phase 3 products.

José also held several senior roles at Pfizer, where he was responsible for leading Quality Operations across multiple sterile manufacturing plants, as well as at Wyeth and Biovail in local and global technology, manufacturing and quality operations.

José received his bachelor’s degree in molecular biology, master’s degree in molecular endocrinology and biochemistry and his doctorate in biochemistry and cellular molecular biology all from the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras.

Christiane Langer, M.D.

SVP, Global Medical Affairs Head

Dr. Christiane Langer joined Atara Biotherapeutics in May 2019 as Senior Vice President of Global Medical Affairs.

Prior to joining Atara, Christiane served as VP of Global Medical Affairs at Agios Pharmaceuticals and worked in leading medical positions for Roche/Genentech, both in the US and Germany. In these roles, she built and managed Medical Affairs teams, led successful launches and built strong relationships as well as deep know-how around various oncology related indications (GI, GBM, GU, including Avastin, Herceptin, Zelboraf and Tecentriq). Christiane also held positions of increasing responsibility at BMS in the US and Europe, where she led the oncology clinical development for Erbitux, resulting in full approval for Erbitux in Colorectal cancer.

Christiane earned her M.D. from the University of Freiburg, Germany and spent her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology with a focus on Gynecologic Oncology at the University Hospital Hannover, Germany. She completed a postdoc on apoptosis research in breast cancer in Dr John Reed’s lab at the Burnham Institute, La Jolla, CA.

When not working, Christiane enjoys time with her husband and 2 children, travelling, running and knitting – a passion she re-discovered most recently.