Next‑Generation CAR T

Immunotherapy Innovation

At Atara, we are bringing together core technologies and capabilities to develop next-generation off-the-shelf chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) immunotherapies. We are also collaborating with academic leaders and leveraging our world-class T-cell manufacturing and research expertise with the goal of rapidly advancing our CAR T programs.
Though the current generation of autologous CAR T immunotherapies, which utilize cells obtained from the patient, have transformed outcomes for B-cell malignancies, we believe many opportunities still exist to improve outcomes and address areas of high unmet need, including solid tumors and B-cell malignancies.

Aiming to Address Current CAR T Platform Limitations

Aiming to Address Current CAR T Platform Limitations

Expand targets against high unmet need

  • Solid tumors and hematologic malignancies: Initial focus in solid tumors with over-expression of mesothelin and B-cell malignancies
  • Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), infectious diseases

Strategies with the potential to overcome resistance

  • Multi-targeted CARs aimed at preventing antigen loss resistance and increasing specificity
  • PD-1 dominant negative receptor aimed at shielding T cell from checkpoint inhibition

Strategies to drive increased physiological T-cell signaling designed to improve persistence and safety

  • 1XX and novel co-stimulatory domains
Potential Advantages of EBV-T‑Cells as Off-the-Shelf, Allogeneic T-cell Immunotherapy Platform

Potential Advantages of EBV-T‑Cells as Off-the-Shelf, Allogeneic T-cell Immunotherapy Platform

  • No gene or HLA editing required
  • Maintaining normal donor T-cell immune responses (including proliferation and persistence)

EBV T‑Cells have unique immunological features for immunotherapy

  • Long-term persistence when engineered with additional WT1 TCR(2)
  • Traffic to and embed within solid tumors where their activation can lead to antitumor activity(3)
  • Expand in immuno-competent patients without lymphodepleting chemotherapy pre-treatment(4)

Risk of GvHD may be reduced by EBV TCR specificity

Potential Advantages of EBV-T‑Cells as Off-the-Shelf, Allogeneic T-cell Immunotherapy Platform
(1) Maeda Y, et al. Science. 2014 Dec 19;346(6216):1536-40; Regulatory T‑Cells (Tregs) “silence” T‑Cells with reactivity to self
(2) Chapuis AG, et al. Nat Med. 2019 Jul;25(7):1064-1072.
(3) Rosato P, et al. Nature Communications 2019 Feb 4; 10:567; Virus-specific memory T‑Cells populate tumors and can be repurposed for tumor immunotherapy.
(4) Prockop S, et al. Proc ASCO 2016.

CAR T Pipeline

Our pipeline is rapidly expanding with novel technologies and next-generation, multi-targeted CAR T immunotherapies thanks to our collaborations with Moffitt Cancer Center and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.



We seek to broaden the potential applications of our proprietary technology platform and explore new ways to help effectively bring transformational therapies to patients.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

September 2014

We entered into an exclusive option agreement with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) for the development and commercialization of allogeneic T-cell therapies developed in the lab of Dr. Richard O’Reilly for the treatment of certain cancers and persistent viral infections. Under the terms of the agreement, we had the option to acquire a worldwide license to three clinical stage T-cell therapies consisting of T‑Cells activated against Epstein Barr Virus (EBV) (Phase 2); T‑Cells activated against cytomegalovirus (CMV) (Phase 2); and T‑Cells activated against Wilms Tumor 1 (WT1) (Phase 1).

June 2015

We exercised the option and entered into a license agreement with MSK. Under the terms of the license agreement, MSK granted us a worldwide, exclusive license under certain patent rights, know-how and a library of T‑Cells and cell lines, to research, develop, manufacture and commercialize T-cell products specific to CMV, EBV, and WT1 that comprise or are based on or made using such licensed rights.

May 2018

Atara expanded our collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) to develop the next generation of genetically engineered chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) immunotherapies. We gained access to several of MSK’s innovative enabling technologies, including a novel co-stimulatory domain that Atara believes has physiologic T-cell activation properties, as well as methods for designing CAR T immunotherapies. Atara has entered into an exclusive research collaboration for multiple targets with Michel Sadelain, M.D., Ph.D., Director, Center for Cell Engineering at MSK, to employ next-generation technologies in developing novel CAR T immunotherapies with applications in oncology, autoimmune and infectious diseases.

January 2019

We exclusively licensed worldwide rights to a mesothelin-targeted chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) immunotherapy for solid tumors developed in the lab of Dr. Prasad Adusumilli. The most advanced program in Atara’s CAR T collaboration with MSK is focused on the development of a next-generation, mesothelin-targeted CAR T using novel 1XX CAR signaling domain and PD-1 dominant negative receptor (DNR) checkpoint inhibition technologies for patients with mesothelin-associated solid tumors.

Moffitt Cancer Center

Moffitt Cancer Center

September 2018

We entered into a strategic collaboration with Moffitt Cancer Center to develop multi targeted chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR T) immunotherapies for patients with AML and B cell malignancies being developed by Dr. Marco Davila. As part of the collaboration, Atara gained access to novel CAR T targeting and co stimulation domains designed to improve T-cell proliferation and enhance persistence. This agreement furthers the Company’s strategy to develop next-generation engineered CAR T immunotherapies across multiple therapeutic areas and leverage the Company’s off-the-shelf, allogeneic T-cell immunotherapy platform.


Developing Investigational T-cell Immunotherapies Based on Clinical Research

A collection of publications and presentations cover various areas of interest.

Developing Investigational T-cell Immunotherapies Based on Clinical Research