Amgen Ventures joins KPCB, others backing $38.5m Series B for drug developer Atara


Thrasos Therapeutics kidney - AltAssets Private Equity NewsAmgen Ventures is among the new investors committing capital to drug development company Atara Therapeutics as part of a $38.5m Series B financing round.

Previous backers Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Domain Associates, DAG Ventures and Alexandria Venture Investments also took part in the round alongside new backers Celgene Corp and EcoR1 Capital.

The company is currently working on a drug to treat protein energy wasting, a form of inflammation, malnutrition and muscle wasting in patients with end-stage kidney disease.

It said it also plans to submit an investigational new drug application to conduct trials on a new method to treat ovarian cancer and other solid tumours.

Atara said it had hired Alexandria Venture founder chairman and CEO Joel Marcus to the board of directors as part of the financing deal.

He said, “Atara has moved quickly to build a pipeline of innovative, targeted therapies designed to address the underlying mechanisms of disease, and disease states for which there are few therapeutic options today.

“The company has employed a strategic business structure that provides optionality for value creation.

“I am honored to join the board and the world-class team that Isaac is assembling.”

Copyright © 2013 AltAssets