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The companies have entered into an agreement for next-generation, mesothelin-directed CAR-T cell therapies for the treatment of solid tumors.
Bayer and Atara Biotherapeutics, a US-based T-cell immunotherapy company, announced on Dec. 7, 2020 that they have entered into an agreement for next-generation, mesothelin-directed CAR-T cell therapies for the treatment of solid tumors.
Under the terms of the agreement, Atara will receive an upfront payment of $60 million with eligibility to receive up to $610 million if certain development, regulatory, and commercialization milestones are hit, a Bayer press release said. Additionally, Atara will head investigational new drug (IND) studies for its development candidate ATA3271, an armored next generation allogeneic T-cell immunotherapy, while Bayer will submit the IND and will handle clinical development and commercialization of the therapy. Atara will also maintain responsibility for the ongoing Phase I study of ATA2271, an autologous version of ATA3271, through the agreement.
“This transaction is a fundamental element of Bayer’s new cell and gene therapy strategy. It strengthens our development portfolio through allogeneic cell therapies and consolidates our emerging leadership in the field,” said Wolfram Carius, head of Bayer’s Cell and Gene Therapy Platform, in the press release. “We look forward to partnering with Atara to develop next-generation off-the-shelf CAR-T cell therapies for patients with difficult-to-treat cancers.”
“This exciting partnership between Atara and Bayer will accelerate the development of next-generation mesothelin-targeted CAR-T cell therapies for the treatment of multiple solid tumors and helps us bring the power of our allogeneic cell therapy platform to patients as quickly as possible,” added Pascal Touchon, president and CEO, Atara, in the press release. “Bayer’s proven track record in oncology global development and commercialization, and growing presence in cell and gene therapy, enhances Atara’s capabilities and complements our leading allogeneic T-cell platform.”