Atara Biotherapeutics Inc (NASDAQ:ATRA) is having an incredible time in the pre-market hours this morning and for good reason. The company announced that it has entered into a collaboration with Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK). As a result, investor excitement ensued and the stock headed upward. Of course, our partners at Trade Ideas were the first to alert us to the gains. At the moment (8:18), ATRA is trading at $22.50 per share after a gain of $3.60 per share or 19.05% thus far today.
ATRA Enters Collaboration Agreement With MRK
As mentioned above, Atara Biotherapeutics is having an incredibly strong start to the trading session today after announcing that it has entered into a clinical trial collaboration agreement with Merck. The agreement surrounds evaluation of an ATRA allogenic Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-specific cytotoxic Tlymphocytes (CTL), also known as ATA129 in combination with KEYTRUDA(R) as a treatment for patients with platinum resistant or recurrent EB-associated NPC. In a statement, Chris Haqq, M.D., Ph.D., Executive Vice President of Research and Development and CEO at ATRA had the following to offer…
“Both ATA 129 and KEYTRUDA have shown evidence of objective radiographic response in NPC, and there is a strong biologic rationale to combine these therapies as their complementary mechanisms of action may enhance the anti-tumor activity.”
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What We’ll Be Watching For Ahead
Moving forward, the CNA Finance team will be keeping a close eye on ATRA. In particular, we’re interested in following this collaboration to see what the result of the two companies working together is. Nonetheless, we’ll continue to follow the story closely and bring the news to you as it breaks!
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