SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATRA), a leader in T-cell immunotherapy, leveraging its novel allogeneic EBV T-cell platform to develop transformative therapies for patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases, today announces biopharmaceutical executive Charlene Banard will join as Chief Technical Officer. Charlene will oversee process science and development, quality, manufacturing, and supply.
“Bringing a seasoned leader like Charlene to Atara further validates our advanced technology and its potential to transform the lives of patients with serious diseases through our unique EBV T-cell platform,” said Pascal Touchon, President and Chief Executive Officer of Atara Biotherapeutics. “Charlene’s impressive and diverse expertise in manufacturing, quality and technical operations across many technologies and advanced therapies, including CAR T, will be instrumental in leading our talented Technical Operations team during this next phase of advancement of our robust pipeline of T-cell immunotherapies.”
Ms. Banard comes to Atara from Novartis, where, as Global Head, Technical Operations, Cell & Gene Therapy (C>) Platform, she led C> lifecycle management strategy and execution and established the Technical Operations strategy for the company’s cell therapy oncology pipeline. Prior to that, she served in multiple leadership roles at Shire across Technical Operations and Global Quality. In these roles, Ms. Banard led the Global Quality function with broad scope and experience in support of 12 internal manufacturing sites and more than 70 contract manufacturing organizations (CMOs) for 40 commercial and 40 pipeline rare disease and specialty products. While at Shire, Ms. Banard advanced its pipeline by securing multi-national product and facility approvals and spearheaded data utilization to enhance efficiency of operations. Earlier in her career, Ms. Banard held numerous roles of increasing responsibility at Gilead Sciences, Cell Genesys, and Chiron across Manufacturing and Development, Compliance, Quality Assurance, Quality Control, Quality Systems, and Validation.
“I’m thrilled to join the Atara team to help deliver differentiated, first-in-kind allogeneic EBV T-cell therapies to patients in need. Having worked across a range of biopharmaceutical organizations, I look forward to setting Atara’s Technical Operations strategy and driving execution that is stage-appropriate and scalable at this important inflection point in the Company’s history,” said Banard. “Throughout my career, it has been my personal mission to advance potentially transformative solutions to address the unmet need of patients globally.”
Ms. Banard received her undergraduate degree in biochemistry from University of California, Davis and MBA from Saint Mary’s College of California. She was inducted into the International Women’s Forum (IWF) Fellows Program in 2018, a multinational organization featuring academic partnerships with Harvard Business School and INSEAD and mentors developing talent in the biopharmaceutical industry.
About Atara Biotherapeutics, Inc.
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 serious diseases including solid tumors, hematologic cancers and autoimmune disease. With our lead program in Phase 3 clinical development and currently under review to support registration in Europe, 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 serious diseases through incorporation of engineered CARs (chimeric antigen receptors) or TCRs (T-cell receptors). Atara is applying this one platform, which does not require TCR or HLA gene editing, to create a robust pipeline including: tab-cel in Phase 3 development for Epstein-Barr virus-driven post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease (EBV+ PTLD) and other EBV-driven diseases; 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.