Founded barely 15 months ago to accelerate development of assets in-licensed from Amgen Inc., Atara Biotherapeutics secured its second round of funding, adding $38.5 million in the initial closing of its Series B round.
The Thousand Oaks, Calif.-based company, which closed a $20 million Series A financing in March and is expected to disclose the Series B funding Tuesday morning, anticipates funds to last through the end of 2015, though that could change as programs advance. “Obviously, the data will drive the development path,” said President and CEO Isaac Ciechanover.
Corporate venture arms from Amgen Inc. and Celgene Corp. participated in the Series B, joining new investors EcoR1 and existing investors Alexandria Venture Investments, DAG Ventures, Domain Associates and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. But despite the ties to Amgen – and to Celgene, where Ciechanover once worked as an executive director in business development – Atara operates