Atara Biotherapeutics Announces the Completion of the Acquisition of Its Cell Therapy Manufacturing Facility & Commencement of Long-Term Strategic Partnership with Fujifilm
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATRA), a leader in T-cell immunotherapy, leveraging its novel allogeneic EBV T-cell platform to develop transformative therapies for patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases, today announced FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, a subsidiary of FUJIFILM Corporation (Fujifilm), has completed the acquisition of Atara’s cell therapy manufacturing facility in Thousand Oaks, California for USD 100 million upfront and the commencement of a long-term strategic supply agreement. This partnership and acquisition was first announced in January 2022.
With the closing of the transaction, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies will provide Atara with access to the flexible capacity and specific capability needed to manufacture clinical and commercial-stage allogeneic cell therapies for its maturing and promising pipeline, including tabelecleucel (tab-cel®), ATA188 for multiple sclerosis, and allogeneic CAR T therapies, ATA3271 and ATA3219.
FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies will also expand use of the Thousand Oaks site to manufacture a broader portfolio of cell therapies by leveraging the experience and expertise of the manufacturing and quality staff who transitioned to FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies.
Atara has retained a talented Technical Operations team who will continue to manage external manufacturing partnerships, manufacturing process science & development, quality assurance, supply chain, and logistics. Atara’s Thousand Oaks-based Atara Research Center (ARC) now houses Atara’s Pre-Clinical, Translational Sciences, Manufacturing Process Sciences, and Analytical Development teams to further drive innovation by leveraging the Company’s unique and differentiated allogeneic cell therapy platform.
The agreement is expected to reduce Atara’s planned operating expenses over the multiyear partnership period. The upfront consideration, along with the reduction in operating expenses, in addition to Atara’s existing cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments is expected to fund Atara’s planned operations into Q4 2023, beyond the anticipated completion of the randomized, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study of ATA188, the Company’s investigational off-the-shelf T-cell candidate that has the potential to reverse disability in progressive multiple sclerosis.
About Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc.
Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. (@Atarabio) is a pioneer in T-cell immunotherapy leveraging its novel allogeneic EBV T-cell platform to develop transformative therapies for patients with serious diseases including solid tumors, hematologic cancers and autoimmune disease. With our lead program in Phase 3 clinical development and currently under review to support registration in Europe, Atara is the most advanced allogeneic T-cell immunotherapy company and intends to rapidly deliver off-the-shelf treatments to patients with high unmet medical need. Our platform leverages the unique biology of EBV T cells and has the capability to treat a wide range of EBV-associated diseases, or other serious diseases through incorporation of engineered CARs (chimeric antigen receptors) or TCRs (T-cell receptors). Atara is applying this one platform, which does not require TCR or HLA gene editing, to create a robust pipeline including: tab-cel in Phase 3 development for Epstein-Barr virus-driven post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (EBV+ PTLD) and other EBV-driven diseases; ATA188, a T-cell immunotherapy targeting EBV antigens as a potential treatment for multiple sclerosis; and multiple next-generation chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) immunotherapies for both solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. Improving patients’ lives is our mission and we will never stop working to bring transformative therapies to those in need. Atara is headquartered in South San Francisco and our leading-edge research, development and manufacturing facility is based in Thousand Oaks, California. For additional information about the company, please visit atarabio.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
This press release contains or may imply “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. For example, forward-looking statements include statements regarding: the development, timing, progress and prospects of Atara’s product candidates and regulatory filings, Atara’s sale of its manufacturing facility to FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB), the potential benefits of such transaction to Atara, including the potential financial benefits to Atara, the supply agreement between the parties and the duration and benefits thereof, FDB’s ability to perform under the supply agreement and meet Atara’s requirements, FDB’s plans for the manufacturing facility, including the expansion thereof, Atara’s ability to drive innovation, Atara’s ability to retain its staff and capabilities, and the sufficiency of Atara’s cash, cash equivalents, short-term investments to fund its planned operations. Because such statements deal with future events and are based on Atara’s current expectations, they are subject to various risks and uncertainties and actual results, performance or achievements of Atara could differ materially from those described in or implied by the statements in this press release. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks and uncertainties associated with the costly and time-consuming pharmaceutical product development process and the uncertainty of clinical success; the COVID-19 pandemic, which may significantly impact (i) our business, research, clinical development plans and operations, including our operations in South San Francisco and Southern California and at our clinical trial sites, as well as the business or operations of our third-party manufacturer, contract research organizations or other third parties with whom we conduct business, (ii) our ability to access capital, and (iii) the value of our common stock; the sufficiency of Atara’s cash resources and need for additional capital; and other risks and uncertainties affecting Atara’s and its development programs, including those discussed in Atara’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including in the “Risk Factors” and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” sections of the Company’s most recently filed periodic reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q and subsequent filings and in the documents incorporated by reference therein. Except as otherwise required by law, Atara disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise.