Bayer Intends To Bow Out From CAR-T Therapy Pact With Atara

  • Atara Biotherapeutics Inc ATRA received notification that Bayer AG's BAYRY intends to end the exclusive worldwide licensing agreement for mesothelin-directed CAR T-cell therapies.
  • The collaboration included the funding and development of ATA3271, allogeneic T-cell immunotherapy, and an autologous version, ATA2271, for high mesothelin-expressing tumors. 
  • ATA3271 leverages Atara's EBV T-cell platform and is currently in IND (Investigational New Drug)-enabling studies.
  • Related: Atara Biotherapeutics Shares Fall After Reporting Patient Death In ATA2271 Autologous CAR T Trial.
  • Upon termination of the agreement in September 2022, Atara will have full rights to continue the clinical development and future commercialization of its programs worldwide. 
  • Atara expects to provide a Phase 1 data update for ATA2271 in H2 2022 and will also continue to lead IND-enabling studies and process development for ATA3271.
  • "Given the exciting developments on ATA188 and tab-cel and our continued progress toward submitting an IND for ATA3219 in Q4 2022, we plan to focus our resources accordingly while re-assess our strategy for our mesothelin CAR T program," said Pascal Touchon, President and CEO of Atara. 
  • "Consequently, we will postpone the anticipated IND filing for ATA3271 beyond the fourth quarter of 2022. We are also maintaining our cash runway guidance into Q4 of 2023," Touchon added.
  • Price Action: ATRA shares closed 14.3% lower at $4.42 during after-hours trading on Thursday.
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