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Atara Biotherapeutics' Collaborating Investigators to Present Data at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., May 14, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq:ATRA) today announced that its collaborating investigators at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) will present clinical data from two studies of cytotoxic T lymphocytes activated against Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV-CTL) at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting (ASCO).

  • Updated clinical data on the safety and efficacy of EBV-CTL in the treatment of patients with rituximab-refractory, EBV-associated lymphoproliferative disease (EBV-LPD) after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) will be presented.
  • In addition, clinical data on the safety and efficacy of EBV-CTL in the treatment of patients with rituximab-refractory, EBV-LPD after solid organ transplantation (SOT) will be presented.

Under Atara's exclusive option agreement with MSK, Atara has the right to license the exclusive, worldwide rights to three clinical stage T-cell programs, including EBV-CTL. EBV-LPD is a serious malignancy with an unmet medical need that occurs after HCT, SOT, and in other patients with immune deficiencies. The ASCO annual meeting will be held in Chicago, Illinois from May 29th to June 2nd, 2015.

Here are the details of the presentation:

Date & Time: Monday, June 1, 2015, 10:12 AM – 10:24 AM

Title: Banked EBV-Specific T-Cells From HLA-Partially Matched Normal Donors Induce Durable Remissions of Rituximab Refractory EBV+ B-Cell Lymphomas Post Hematopoietic and Organ Allografts.

Publication Number: 10016

Session Title: Pediatric Oncology

Session Type: Oral Abstract Session

Presenter: Susan Prockop, M.D.

Link to abstract: http://abstracts.asco.org/156/AbstView_156_152120.html

About EBV-CTL

T-cells are a critical component of the body's immune system and can be harnessed to counteract viral infections and some cancers. By focusing the T-cells on specific proteins involved in cancers and infections, the power of the immune system can be employed to combat these diseases. EBV-CTL utilize a technology in which T-cells are collected from the blood of third-party donors and then exposed to EBV antigens. The resulting activated T-cells are then expanded, characterized, and stored for future therapeutic use in an appropriate partially human leukocyte antigen, or HLA, matched patient, providing an "off-the-shelf", allogeneic, cellular therapeutic option for patients. In the context of EBV-LPD, the EBV-CTL find the cancer cells expressing EBV and kill them. EBV-CTL are currently being studied in two ongoing Phase 2 clinical trials (NCT00002663 and NCT01498484).

About Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc.

Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative therapies for patients with debilitating diseases. Atara's lead programs target myostatin and activin, members of the TGF-beta family of proteins that have demonstrated the potential to have therapeutic benefit in a number of clinical indications. In September 2014, Atara Biotherapeutics entered into an exclusive option agreement with MSK, under which it has the right to license (pursuant to a negotiated form of license agreement) the exclusive, worldwide rights to three clinical stage T-cell programs, including EBV-CTL, as well as other T-cell programs that are discovered or developed by MSK pursuant to sponsored research funded by the company.

Forward-Looking Statements

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. 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. For example, forward-looking statements include statements regarding the clinical development of product candidates and Atara's collaboration with MSK. These forward-looking statements are subject to other risks and uncertainties, including those discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in Atara's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014 and subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. 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.

CONTACT: INVESTOR CONTACT: Tina Gullotta, Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. 650-741-1613 tgullotta@atarabio.com MEDIA CONTACT: Susan Heins, Pure Communications, Inc. 864-286-9597 susan@purecommunicationsinc.comSource:Atara Biotherapeutics