Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc., a Thousand Oaks, CA-based drug development company with a focus on innovative therapies for patients with debilitating diseases, secured $38.5m in initial closings under its Series B financing.
The transaction relates to three biotechnology entities:
– Nina Biotherapeutics, Inc.,
– Pinta Biotherapeutics, Inc., and
– Santa Maria Biotherapeutics, Inc.
Backers included Amgen Ventures (Nasdaq: AMGN), Celgene Corporation (Nasdaq: CELG), and EcoR1 Capital, which joined existing investors Alexandria Venture Investments, DAG Ventures, Domain Associates, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In conjunction with the financing, Joel Marcus, chairman, chief executive officer, and founder of Alexandria Real Estate Equities, Inc. (NYSE: ARE)/Alexandria Venture Investments, joined Atara’s board of directors.
Led by Isaac Ciechanover, MD, chief executive officer, Atara Biotherapeutics has three novel biologics in development including:
– PINTA 745 (Phase 2) for protein energy wasting in end-stage renal disease,
– STM 434 (IND-ready) for ovarian cancer and other solid tumors, and
– NINA 842 (pre-clinical) for cancer-related cachexia.
The company intends to use the funds to accelerate the clinical development of its two lead programs, PINTA 745 and STM 434, which are expected to generate new clinical data within the next 18 months.