SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., June 07, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq:ATRA), a leading off-the-shelf, allogeneic T-cell immunotherapy company developing novel treatments for patients with cancer, autoimmune and viral diseases, today announced that Utpal Koppikar has joined Atara as Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately.
“Utpal brings deep expertise in financial management and has an accomplished track record in global biotechnology financial operations,” said Isaac Ciechanover, M.D., Chief Executive Officer and President of Atara Biotherapeutics. “His experience in commercial finance and market access across diverse therapeutic areas, including in immuno-oncology and CAR T, will be critical as we advance tab-cel™ development and pre-commercial activities as well as expand our off-the-shelf T-cell immunotherapy platform in autoimmune and infectious diseases.”
Most recently, Mr. Koppikar held several senior financial leadership positions at Gilead Sciences, including as Vice President of Corporate and Operations Finance and as Vice President of Finance Europe, Middle East and Australia. Prior to Gilead, he served in multiple finance roles of increasing responsibility at Amgen. He began his career at Honeywell Aerospace (formerly AlliedSignal). Mr. Koppikar earned his B.S. in aerospace engineering at the University of Maryland and received a M.S. in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from Stanford University. He also holds an MBA in finance and marketing from UCLA Anderson School of Management.
“I am thrilled to join the talented team at Atara supporting a robust pipeline of innovative T-cell immunotherapies with the potential to transform patients’ lives,” said Mr. Koppikar. “As Atara advances towards becoming a fully integrated commercial organization, I look forward to contributing to the continued progress of the Company and its programs.”
About Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc.
Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. (@Atarabio) is a leading T-cell immunotherapy company developing novel treatments for patients with cancer, autoimmune and viral diseases. The Company's off-the-shelf, allogeneic T-cells are bioengineered from donors with healthy immune function and allow for rapid delivery from inventory to patients without a requirement for pretreatment. Atara's T-cell immunotherapies are designed to precisely recognize and eliminate cancerous or diseased cells without affecting normal, healthy cells. Atara's most advanced T-cell immunotherapy in development, tabelecleucel, or tab-cel™ (formerly known as ATA129), is being developed for the treatment of patients with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) associated post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder (EBV+ PTLD) who have failed rituximab, as well as other EBV-associated hematologic and solid tumors, including nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). Tab-cel™ is in Phase 3 clinical development for the treatment of EBV+ PTLD following an allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant (MATCH study) or solid organ transplant (ALLELE study). Atara is also developing off-the-shelf, allogenic ATA188 and autologous ATA190 T-cell immunotherapies using a complementary targeted antigen recognition technology for specific EBV antigens believed to be important for the potential treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). A Phase 1 clinical study of autologous ATA190 in patients with progressive MS is ongoing. Atara also initiated a multinational Phase 1 ATA188 clinical study in patients with progressive or relapsing-remitting MS in Australia in the fourth quarter of 2017 and in the U.S. in March 2018. Atara's clinical pipeline also includes ATA520 targeting Wilms Tumor 1 (WT1) and ATA230 directed against cytomegalovirus (CMV).
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 progress of the Company's Phase 3 studies of tab-cel™; the timing of the Company’s submission of a CMA for tab-cel™ in the EU; and the potential advancement, launch, and commercialization of the Company’s product candidates. Because such statements deal with future events and are based on Atara Biotherapeutics' current expectations, they are subject to various risks and uncertainties and actual results, performance or achievements of Atara Biotherapeutics 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 those discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in Atara Biotherapeutics' quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on May 8, 2018, including the documents incorporated by reference therein, and subsequent filings with the SEC. Except as otherwise required by law, Atara Biotherapeutics 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.
INVESTOR & MEDIA CONTACTS:
John Craighead, Atara Biotherapeutics
Steve Klass, Burns McClellan
Justin Jackson, Burns McClellan