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Thursday, Sep 28, 2023

Atara Hires Novartis Vet As New CTO

Biopharmaceutical executive Charlene Banard has joined Atara Biotherapeutics Inc. as chief technical officer.

Charlene Banard

Atara Biotherapeutics is a leader in CAR T-cell immunotherapy and develop therapies for patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases. 

Banard 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, chief executive officer of Atara Biotherapeutics, in a statement. 

Banard comes to Atara from Novartis, where, as global head, technical operations, cell and gene therapy platform, she led the cell and gene therapy lifecycle management strategy and execution and established the technical operations strategy for the company’s cell therapy oncology pipeline. 

Prior to working at Novartis, Banard served in multiple leadership roles at Shire and held positions across operations and global quality.

“I’m thrilled to join the Atara team to help deliver differentiated, first-in-kind allogeneic EBV T-cell therapies to patients in need,” Banard said in a statement.

 “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. Throughout my career, it has been my personal mission to advance potentially transformative solutions to address the unmet need of patients globally.”

Atara Biotherapeutics is based in South San Francisco, and maintains its major research and development sites in Thousand Oaks.

Michael Aushenker
Michael Aushenker
A graduate of Cornell University, Michael covers commercial real estate for the San Fernando Valley Business Journal. Prior to the Business Journal, Michael covered the community and entertainment beats as a staff writer for various newspapers, including the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, The Palisadian-Post, The Argonaut and Acorn Newspapers. He has also freelanced for the Santa Barbara Independent, VC Reporter, Malibu Times and Los Feliz Ledger.

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