- Inform good and bad news early
- Provide balanced and objective information
- Give thanks and offer help to the messenger
At Atara, our mission is to transform the lives of patients with serious diseases through pioneering science, teamwork, and a commitment to excellence. Atara is headquartered in Southern California, with sites in Thousand Oaks, California and Denver, Colorado. We are committed to building a safe, environmentally sustainable, and ethical business that provides long-term value for all Atara stakeholders.
As part of this commitment, we support Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) initiatives aligned to our mission, culture, and core values.
These values provide the foundation for us to demonstrate our dedication to patients, staff, our environment, and local communities.
We have formalized a set of company values to guide us in how we conduct our business, interact with colleagues, and execute our corporate strategy.
We are committed to good corporate governance and to conduct our business in an ethical manner. We have adopted numerous policies and guidelines to facilitate ethical conduct and to further align the interests of our staff and directors with our stockholders and other key stakeholders, including the patients we serve. For a detailed description of several of these policies and guidelines, see our latest Proxy Statement.
With a Board of Directors comprised of one third of individuals who self-identify as female and representation from LGBTQIA+ and minority groups, Atara Biotherapeutics meets current and future California state requirements. However, as a clinical stage biotechnology company pushing the boundaries of science, we recognize there is always more that can be done. We actively seek ways to ensure diversity, inclusion, and equitable representation is embraced at all levels of our organization – and Atara is a much richer place for it.
We are committed to operating our facilities in an environmentally responsible way to reduce environmental impacts and protect our staff, our business, the environment and the communities where we operate. In light of the potential impact our business may have on the environment, we have set goals and adopted a number of internal policies and management systems designed to eliminate, reduce, or substitute hazardous materials and waste and reduce water and energy consumption. For example, we constructed our Atara Research Center (ARC) with provisions made to comply with Title 24 requirements, including exterior wall insulation, LED lighting with energy reducing controls system, low flow restroom fixtures, drought tolerant landscaping design, waste stream segregation for landfill and recyclables, and elimination of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other harmful chemicals during construction.
We are committed to fostering the growth of the next generation of leaders through our involvement in our communities. Through active engagement with local schools, Atara discusses careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, & Mathematics (STEM).
In addition, Atara works closely with local universities to build future leaders through our three-year rotational program, Leadership Exploration and Development (LEAD), and twelve-week summer graduate-level internship program.
Atara is honored to connect with other game-changing biotech companies through our Rare Disease Company Coalition (RDCC), Healthcare Businesswoman’s Association (HBA), the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), Alliance for Regenerative Medicine (ARM), and Biocom California memberships, amongst others. We look forward to continuing our community involvement.
Atara is committed to the highest standards of product quality and patient safety. Through the training of full-time staff, contract workers, and vendors on our policies, standard operating procedures (SOPs), work instructions and guidelines, Atara strives to ensure that all activities carried out adhere to the standards and expectations for compliance and quality performance. Close oversight of the operations of Atara’s contracted manufacturing service providers makes certain their activities also adhere to our standards. Information on our current clinical studies can be found here.
As a leading off-the-shelf, allogeneic T-cell immunotherapy company developing novel investigational treatments for patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases, we strive to make every effort to support patients in need of treatment options. Atara will consider providing an individual patient with access to investigational product candidates through an expanded access study. More information on our Expanded Access Program (EAP) and process for applying can be found here.
Atara is dedicated to providing an inclusive, safe, and collaborative environment for all staff. Staff feedback is an integral part of the experience process. Atara gathers feedback periodically through multi-channel opportunities, like climate surveys, All-Hands surveys, Culture Champion forums, functional department meetings, team meetings, 1-on-1s, and more. We conduct feedback surveys that are designed to help us measure overall staff engagement. These surveys help us assess our culture and obtain feedback on a range of topics that help us in building a stronger workplace environment and provides important insight into the areas we may need to focus on. The surveys will continue to be leveraged to support measuring our progress on the Company’s important initiatives and adherence to our TRAIT values.
Highlights from our February 2021 survey with 71% engagement
Atara offers a comprehensive total rewards package that includes competitive pay, health, retirement, time-off, and company-ownership opportunities through equity-based incentive programs. Additionally, all staff members are offered access to well-being services such as financial, legal, and estate planning. This year, we enhanced our mental health solutions by adding Spring Health, which provides all staff members and their families access to mental wellness tools for meditation, sleep, coaching and personalized therapy sessions. We also offer all staff members a yearly wellness stipend to support their choice of wellness activities. Finally, we enhanced our family care solutions to provide options for backup child and elder care resources, pet care, tutoring, and college coaching. Together, our rewards make up a comprehensive package that helps our staff members live balanced lives, where they can grow personally and professionally.
Consistent with our TRAIT values, we believe a diverse and inclusive culture supports our ability to serve patients.
At Atara, we have established a diversity and inclusion advisory group to promote engagement on a number of topics related to diversity, inclusion & belonging (DI&B), including workshops and supporting the emergence of affinity groups as part of our efforts to create a more equitable workplace. We encourage all of our staff to participate in our DI&B initiatives to strengthen and grow our diverse and inclusive culture, which include educational webinars, cultural engagement events, fireside chats and a robust set of DI&B courses available through LinkedIn Learning.
Our first affinity group, which has established the groundwork for future groups, is the Atara Women’s Alliance (AWA), the mission of which is to strengthen the leadership, voices and impact of women and to create an inclusive environment where diverse viewpoints and backgrounds are valued. In addition, our board of directors meets the current diversity requirements specified under California law, and it is our expectation we will continue to meet such requirements in future periods.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, to support the health, safety and engagement of our staff and to ensure business continuity, we enacted numerous safeguards, such as: (i) reduction of on-site staff presence to essential activities and implemented remote work for non-essential activities; (ii) established engineering controls and business processes to reduce risk of on-site transmission and preventing “super-spreader” events through physical distancing, enhanced cleaning and hygiene, and providing our staff with personal protective equipment; (iii) created an on-site COVID-19 monitoring program and an at-home testing program; and (iv) designed and executed a rapid and transparent communication and education strategy to ensure our staff has all relevant scientific data at the local, regional and national level.
In February 2020, we established a COVID-19 Rapid Response Team (RRT), sponsored by two Company executives, to assess and address business risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The RRT created clear and regular communications channels, ensured enhanced cleaning and sanitation at our facilities, assessed the impact to our operations, donors, vendors, and clinical trial sites globally, as well as monitored approaches to apply best practices to our processes and decisions.
We have established a team tasked with envisioning future work arrangements at Atara to ensure safety and business continuity as we welcome more staff back to our offices and facilities. We intend to adopt several new work arrangement models to facilitate, where appropriate, workplace flexibility and to support our work arrangement plans safely and effectively. In addition to promoting productivity and efficiency, we believe these new work arrangement models will reduce the environmental impact of our business and operations.
Our continued efforts throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have reinforced our commitment to staff safety and serving patients by maintaining business continuity and executing on our commitment to develop transformative therapies for patients with serious diseases, including solid tumors, hematologic cancers and autoimmune diseases. This was validated in 2021, with Atara having been named winner of a coveted Gold Stevie® Award for “Most Valuable Corporate Response” in the 18th Annual International Business Awards®. We believe going above and beyond to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 to on-site staff and other stakeholders exemplifies our TRAIT values.
Atara’s corporate risk management program is periodically reviewed by Atara’s Leadership Team and by Atara’s Board of Directors.
We maintain policies and procedures that describe our staff’s responsibilities for accessing computerized systems, handling data and information, and reporting cybersecurity events in a timely manner. All staff and contractors are required to complete formal training on these policies.
Atara has a well-defined incident response plan that provides the framework and guidance to manage through realized risk.
We are committed to maintaining the highest standards of legal and ethical conduct and to reflect our company values of Transparency, Respect, Accountability, Integrity and Trust (TRAIT). We expect our suppliers to demonstrate a similar commitment to legal and ethical business practices. In 2020, we developed and implemented the Atara Supplier Code of Conduct to convey our minimum expectations for our suppliers, and their respective subcontracts and suppliers, to: (i) operate in full compliance with all laws, rules and regulations; (ii) conduct business ethically and act with integrity; (iii) uphold the human rights of workers and to treat workers with dignity and respect; (iv) provide a safe and healthy working environment; and (v) operate in an environmentally responsible and efficient manner.