Amgen, a biotech based in Thousand Oaks, Calif., and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), a venture capital firm, have created Atara Biotherapeutics, a new drug development company with a focus on innovative therapies for patients with chronic diseases in therapeutic areas including nephrology and oncology.
Atara Biotherapeutics will have licenses to six Amgen assets, which are in various stages of development, ranging from preclinical to phase I. Financial terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.
Atara Biotherapeutics will be financed initially by KPCB, and Isaac Ciechanover, M.D., a former partner at KPCB, will serve as the president and CEO. Amgen will have a minority equity interest in Atara Biotherapeutics.
"Amgen is excited to partner with KPCB to help advance molecules in Amgen's pipeline that have the potential to treat serious illnesses," said Sean E. Harper, M.D., executive vice president of R&D, Amgen. "With facilities in both the Bay Area and near Amgen's Thousand Oaks campus, Atara Biotherapeutics will provide the opportunity to further foster biotechnology innovation in Amgen's communities."