Atara tab-cel®

Ongoing Clinical Studies
Publications and Presentations

Atara’s most advanced T-cell immunotherapy in development, tab-cel®, is a potential treatment for 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).

In February 2015, FDA granted tab-cel® Breakthrough Therapy Designation for EBV+ PTLD following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) and in October 2016, tab-cel® was accepted into the EMA Priority Medicines (PRIME) regulatory pathway for the same indication, providing enhanced regulatory support. In addition, tab-cel® has orphan status in the U.S. and EU.

Tab-cel® is in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of EBV+ PTLD following an allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (MATCH study) or solid organ transplant (ALLELE study), and Atara is planning a Phase 1/2 study in NPC. Tab-cel® is also available to eligible patients with EBV associated hematologic and solid tumors through an ongoing multicenter expanded access protocol clinical study, positive interim results of which were presented in December 2017 at the 59th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting.


Since its discovery as the first human oncovirus, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) has been implicated in the development of a wide range of lymphoproliferative disorders, including lymphomas and other cancers. EBV is widespread in all human populations and persists as a lifelong, asymptomatic infection.

In immunocompromised patients, such as those undergoing allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplants (HCT) or solid organ transplants (SOT), EBV associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (EBV+ PTLD), represents a life-threatening condition.

  • Median overall survival in patients with EBV+ PTLD following HCT who have failed rituximab-based first line therapy is 16-56 days(1).
  • In EBV+ PTLD following SOT, patients failing rituximab experience increased chemotherapy-induced treatment-related mortality compared to other lymphoma patients. One- and two-year survival in patients with high-risk EBV+ PTLD following SOT is 36% and 0%, respectively.

(1) Expected median survival for patients with EBV+ PTLD following HCT who have failed rituximab first line therapy is 16 to 56 days; Atara estimated 1-year survival based on analysis of Ocheni S, et al. EBV reactivation and post transplant lymphoproliferative disorders following allogeneic SCT. Bone Marrow Transplantation. 2008 Aug;42(3):181-6; Fox CP, et al. EBV-associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder following in vivo T-cell-depleted allogeneic transplantation: Clinical features, viral load correlates and prognostic factors in the rituximab era. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2014;49(2):280-6.

About EBV+ NPC

EBV virus is associated with several tumors including NPC. Nearly all cases of the most common form of NPC (non-keratinizing NPC) have evidence of EBV infection (EBV positive).

Our collaborating investigators at MSK, presented clinical results at the June 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology, or ASCO, meeting on the use of ATA129 in patients with NPC. In the study, 11 of 14 patients on the study were alive at a median follow up of 18.1 months, including one complete response and two partial responses. These results are encouraging when compared to historical median survival rates that range from five to eleven months for patients with metastatic disease after progression following standard chemotherapy.

We have initiated 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.