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Atara Biotherapeutics Names Cell Therapy & Oncology Leader Jakob Dupont, M.D. as Global Head of Research & Development

·6 min read

Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATRA), a pioneer in T-cell immunotherapy leveraging its novel allogeneic EBV T-cell platform to develop transformative therapies for patients with severe diseases including solid tumors, hematologic cancers and autoimmune disease, today named cell therapy and oncology expert Jakob Dupont, M.D. as Executive Vice President, Global Head of Research and Development (R&D).

"We are excited for Jakob to join our team as the Global Head of Research and Development," said Pascal Touchon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Atara Biotherapeutics. "I am confident that his deep and diverse expertise from cell therapy research to oncology clinical development and global regulatory approvals will be instrumental in leading our extremely capable and knowledgeable team to execute successfully on the development of our transformative therapies and bring unique off-the-shelf, allogeneic EBV T-cell immunotherapies to patients in dire need."

Dr. Dupont joins Atara from Gossamer Bio where he served as the Chief Medical Officer overseeing global development, regulatory and quality activities for the company, advancing therapeutics in the disease areas of immunology, inflammation and oncology. Prior to that, he served as Vice President and Global Head of Breast and Gynecologic Cancer Development for Genentech/Roche, where he was responsible for the global development of Herceptin®, Perjeta®, Kadcyla®, ipatesetib, taselisib, and Tecentriq®, among others, and co-led the Genentech/Roche Breast Cancer Disease Area Strategy Team and served on the Oncology Leadership Team. He and his team secured a number of regulatory approvals including Perjeta and Kadcyla in adjuvant HER2+ breast cancer and Tecentriq for triple negative breast cancer. Prior to his recent role at Genentech/Roche, Dr. Dupont was Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he oversaw the successful submissions of eight investigational new drug applications (INDs) and 26 clinical trial initiations and also participated in the execution of major corporate initiatives, including OncoMed’s initial public offering and a partnership agreement with Celgene.

Dr. Dupont began his career in the biotech industry with Genentech/Roche where he served as Global Medical Director of Avastin® and was Group Director for Avastin development, overseeing the early angiogenesis pipeline. Dr. Dupont played a key role in the development and approval of Avastin in ovarian, cervical and breast cancers. Prior to first joining Genentech/Roche in 2006, Dr. Dupont was a faculty member and laboratory researcher at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and oversaw a Phase 1 solid tumor and GYN oncology clinic and a tumor immunology laboratory. During his time at MSK, Dr. Dupont worked in cell therapy research in the Laboratory of Bone Marrow Transplantation led by Richard O’Reilly, M.D., a leader in the field of allogeneic T-cell therapy and the scientific inventor of tab-cel®, and was a research fellow in the Laboratory of Gene Transfer and Gene Expression led by Michel Sadelain, M.D., Ph.D, a world renowned immunologist and leading pioneer in the field of CAR-T therapy and Atara’s collaborator on multiple next generation CAR-T programs. Dr. Dupont has received numerous grants and awards and has co-authored 47 peer-reviewed publications, has 30 patents and has also served as adjunct clinical faculty in medical oncology at Stanford University, overseeing a GYN Oncology clinic.

"I have a long-standing interest and belief in the breakthrough technology that Atara is developing. Having spent most of my career in the oncology and cell therapy space, I believe that Atara has a strong pipeline, exciting technologies and a uniquely advanced manufacturing platform. I am confident in the Company’s ability to be a leader in allogeneic T-cell immunotherapies," said Jakob Dupont, M.D. "Atara has the most advanced Phase 3 allogeneic T-cell therapy candidate, followed by a strong pipeline across a number of vastly underserved diseases, and I am honored to join the team in our mission to serve patients."

Dr. Dupont received his undergraduate degree in philosophy from Vassar College and an M.A. in philosophy from New York University. He studied pre-medical science at Columbia University and received his M.D. from the Joan & Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University. He also served as Assistant Chief Resident at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) and completed his Medical Oncology Fellowship at MSK, his Internal Medicine Residency at the New-York Presbyterian Hospital—Cornell Campus, and his Internal Medicine Internship at The University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor.

About Atara Biotherapeutics
Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. (@Atarabio) is a pioneer in T-cell immunotherapy leveraging its novel allogeneic EBV T-cell platform to develop transformative therapies for patients with severe diseases including solid tumors, hematologic cancers and autoimmune disease. With our lead program in Phase 3 clinical development, Atara is the most advanced allogeneic T-cell immunotherapy company and intends to rapidly deliver off-the-shelf treatments to patients with high unmet medical need. Our platform leverages the unique biology of EBV T-cells and has the capability to treat a wide range of EBV-associated diseases, or other severe diseases through incorporation of engineered CARs (chimeric antigen receptors) or TCRs (T-cell receptors). Atara is applying this one platform to create a robust pipeline including: tab-cel® (tabelecleucel) in Phase 3 development for Epstein-Barr virus-driven post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (EBV+ PTLD); ATA188, a T-cell immunotherapy targeting EBV antigens as a potential treatment for multiple sclerosis; and multiple next-generation chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) immunotherapies for both solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. Improving patients’ lives is our mission and we will never stop working to bring transformative therapies to those in need. Atara is headquartered in South San Francisco and our leading-edge research, development and manufacturing facility is based in Thousand Oaks, California. For additional information about the company, please visit atarabio.com and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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. For example, forward-looking statements include statements regarding: the potential safety, functional characteristics and efficacy of ATA2271; and Atara’s ability to successfully advance, and the potential timelines for, the development of ATA2271 and ATA3271. 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 in Atara Biotherapeutics' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including in the "Risk Factors" and "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations" sections of the Company’s most recently filed periodic reports on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q and subsequent filings and in the documents incorporated by reference therein. 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.

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Contacts

INVESTOR & MEDIA CONTACTS:
Media
Kerry Beth Daly
Head, Corporate Communications
Atara Biotherapeutics
516-982-9328
kdaly@atarabio.com

Investors
Eric Hyllengren
Head, Investor Relations and Finance
Atara Biotherapeutics
805-395-9669
ehyllengren@atarabio.com