Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc., a Thousand Oaks, CA-based drug development company with a focus on innovative therapies for patients with debilitating diseases, held a $13.5m second closing of its recently announced Series B financing (read here).
This additional tranche brought the total raised in the round to $52m.
Backers in the Series B include Alexandria Venture Investments, Amgen Ventures, The Baupost Group, Celgene Corporation (Nasdaq: CELG), DAG Ventures, Domain Associates, EcoR1 Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
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. PINTA 745 is a myostatin inhibiting peptibody in Phase 2 development as a potential treatment for protein energy wasting (PEW), a form of inflammation, malnutrition and muscle wasting in patients with end-stage renal disease. STM 434, an inhibitor of activin, represents a novel targeted approach for the treatment of ovarian cancer as well as other solid tumors. The Atara team plans to submit an investigational new drug (IND) application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to conduct a first-in-human, Phase 1 study of STM 434.
Led by Isaac Ciechanover, M.D., chief executive officer, Atara Biotherapeutics is also developing NINA 842 (pre-clinical) for cancer-related cachexia.