Moving past the limitations of current CAR T approaches.

Understanding the significant unmet need.

Over the last decade, autologous chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies have demonstrated groundbreaking clinical results. However, significant challenges prevent eligible patients from receiving this cutting-edge treatment, and of those who do, only a minority attain durable responses.

CD19 CAR T-cell eligible
patients in U.S.

It is estimated that only 20—40%

of eligible patients receive CAR T therapy1-4

Only 30—40%

of those who receive autologous CD19 CAR T therapy have durable response at 6 months5-9

Technical, operational, and access challenges

Limited manufacturing capacity

Poor status of patients’ immune cells

Manufacturing failures and extended vein-to-vein time

Limited access outside of select certified treatment centers

Unmet medical need

Vein-to-vein time of 3–6 weeks leads to bridging therapy and/or disease progression or death

60–80% of CAR T failures occur in the first three months

Most patients are hospitalized after outpatient treatment of auto-CAR T

Enhanced safety and efficacy are also needed

Overcoming cell therapy limitations.

Atara is focused on using EBV T-cell biology and novel CAR technologies to meet the current limitations of autologous and other allogeneic CAR approaches head-on.

Can be created in large quantities from healthy donors.

Can be manufactured and stored in advance of patient need for rapid treatment that may lead to shorter time to treatment, less need for bridging therapies, and better outcomes.

Can potentially expand CAR T treatment usage beyond authorized treatment centers to substantially increase equitable patient access to treatment centers.

May offer an opportunity to re-dose, which could reduce the risk of relapse.

Overcoming cell therapy limitations.

Looking to the future of T-cell therapy.

We’re building on our allogeneic EBV T-cell platform with a toolkit of next-generation technologies to develop 
EBV CAR T cell therapies with applications in oncology and autoimmune conditions.
T-cell therapy

EBV-sensitized TCR

  • The native T-cell receptor (TCR) is a key survival signal for T cells.
  • The TCR is essential for longevity of response.

Matched MHC

  • Partial HLA matching helps minimize the risk of graft vs. host disease (GvHD).
  • This removes the need for genomic editing or stealth approaches.


  • For solid tumors, expression of PD-1 DNR may help protect against cell exhaustion and the immunosuppressive effects of PD-1.

Binding domain

  • ScFv antibody generation results in optimized affinity for the therapeutic index.

Novel 1XX costimulatory domain

  • Modulates T cell differentiation and exhaustion to extend functional persistence without eliminating or compromising potency.

Memory phenotype

  • A less-differentiated T cell phenotype favors expansion in the patient’s body, as opposed to during manufacturing.
  • This is clinically correlated to improved durability and response.

Learn more

1XX Costimulatory Domain

Learn how the 1XX costimulatory domain modulates T-cell exhaustion to extend functional persistence.



Learn how the PD-1 dominant negative receptor (PD-1 DNR) helps to resist immunosuppressive effects.


Want to see these features at work?

See our EBV CAR T cells in action.

Discover our portfolio.


1Kourelis T., et al. Ethical challenges with CAR T slot allocation with idecabtagene vicleucel manufacturing access. J Clin Oncol 40, 2022.
2Geethakumari, et al. Current Hematological Malignancy Reports, 2021.
3O’Rourke K. ASCO releases guideline on CAR T-cell therapy. Cancer. 2022.
4Albendea, et al. Frontiers. 2023.
5Neelapu, S. S., et al. N Engl J Med. 2017; 377:2531–2544.
6Schuster, S. J., et al. N Engl J Med. 2018; 380:45–56.
7Abramson, J. S., et al. Lancet. 2020; 396:839–852.
8Chong E. A., et al. N Engl J Med. 2021; 384:673–674.
9Locke F. L., et al. Lancet Oncol. 2019; 20:31–42.