Atara Lays Off 20% Of Its Workforce, Issues Update On Cell Therapies

  • Atara Biotherapeutics Inc ATRA will reduce cash burn by laying off 20% of its staff and extend the cash runway into the first quarter of 2024, the company announced in its Q2 earnings update.
  • It would also slim down and refocus its R&D operations. 
  • The company will still focus on ATA188, a cell therapy for the Epstein-Barr virus involved in developing Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
  • Related: Atara Biotherapeutics Shares Are Plummeting - Read Why
  • The company will also focus on tabelecleucel (tab-cel) for post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease, a common complication of solid organ transplants. The FDA has indicated that the therapy has a path to a biologics license application without conducting a new trial.
  • Finally, Atara will request approval for a human study of the CAR T therapy ATA3219 in B-cell malignancies in the fourth quarter.
  • Atara will continue work on ATA2271, a CAR T cell therapy.
  • During Phase 1 study, Atara reported a patient death, and in May, Bayer walked away from the agreement.
  • The company said that after an autopsy report and data analyses, Atara intends to continue supporting the clinical development of ATA2271 and plans to discuss the trial change with the FDA shortly.
  • Atara held $331.3 million in cash and equivalents.
  • Price Action: ATRA shares are up 27.80% at $4.64 during the market session on the last check Tuesday.
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