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Atara Biotherapeutics names CEO

South San Francisco, Calif.-based Atara Biotherapeutics Inc. appointed Pascal Touchon CEO, president and a director of the company.

Touchon, who has over 30 years of global biopharmaceutical leadership experience, most recently served as global head, cell and gene, and member of the oncology executive committee at Novartis AG unit Novartis Oncology.

Touchon replaces Isaac Ciechanover, who announced his plan to step down in January.

Ciechanover, who relinquished his leadership roles on May 28, will serve as a special adviser to a subcommittee of the board until Touchon assumes the role at Atara on June 24.

In addition, Atara's global head of research and development, Dietmar Berger, resigned effective as of May 31.

Atara develops treatments for cancer, autoimmune and viral diseases.