Bayer partners with Atara Bio on CAR T therapy

Dec. 7, 2020

Bayer has announced it will collaborate with Atara Biotherapeutics on mesothelin-directed CAR T-cell therapies for the treatment of solid tumors, as the German drugmaker continues to deepen its new focus on cell and gene therapies.

The star of the deal is the development candidate ATA3271, an armored allogeneic T-cell immunotherapy, and an autologous version, ATA2271, for high mesothelin-expressing tumors such as malignant pleural mesothelioma and non-small-cell lung cancer. The licensed technology leverages Atara's novel, proprietary Epstein-Barr Virus  T-cell platform combined with CAR T technologies targeting mesothelin to improve efficacy, persistence, safety, and durability of response.

“This transaction is a fundamental element of Bayer’s new Cell & 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 & Gene Therapy Unit.

Atara, a California-based biotech, will receive an upfront payment of $60 million and is eligible to receive payments from Bayer upon achievement of certain development, regulatory and commercialization milestones totaling $610 million, as well as tiered royalties up to low double-digit percentage of net sales.

Read the press release