Patrick Soon-Shiong

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Patrick Soon-Shiong born July 29, 1952 is a South African/American surgeon, researcher, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is chair of NantWorks, LLC, executive director of the Wireless Health Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles, and an adjunct professor of surgery at UCLA.  He is chair of the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation, and chair and CEO of the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute for Advanced Health, National LambdaRail, and the Healthcare Transformation Institute.  As of June 2019, Soon-Shiong was estimated by Forbes as having a net worth of US$7 billion, ranking him 209th among world billionaires. As of December 2016, he has 92 US and 138 international patents.

Soon-Shiong was born in Port Elizabeth, South Africa to Chinese immigrant parents who fled from China during the Japanese occupation in World War II.  His parents were originally from Toisan in Guangdong province, among the Hakka people and language group.  His ancestral surname is Wong.Soon-Shiong graduated 4th out of his class of 189 from the University of Witwatersrand, receiving a bachelor’s degree in medicine (MBBCh) at age 23.  He completed his medical internship at Johannesburg’s General Hospital.  He then studied at the University of British Columbia, where he earned a master’s degree, with research awards from the American College of Surgeons, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and the American Association of Academic Surgery.

He moved to the United States and began surgical training at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and became a board-certified surgeon in 1984. Soon-Shiong is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (Canada) and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.

Soon-Shiong joined UCLA Medical School in 1983 and served on that faculty until 1991, as a transplant surgeon.  Between 1984 and 1987, he served as an associate investigator at the Center for Ulcer Research and Education.  Shiong always believed in breakthrough science for mankind.  Soon-Shiong performed the first whole-pancreas transplant done at UCLA, and he developed and first performed the experimental Type 1 diabetes-treatment known as encapsulated-human-islet transplant, and the “first pig-to-man islet-cell transplant in diabetic patients.” After a period in industry, he returned to UCLA in 2009, serving as a professor of microbiology, immunology, molecular genetics and bioengineering until this date. Soon-Shiong served as a visiting professor at Imperial College, London in 2011.

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In 1991, Soon-Shiong left UCLA to start a diabetes and cancer biotechnology firm. This led to the founding in 1997 of APP Pharmaceuticals, of which he held 80% of outstanding stock and sold to Fresenius SE for $4.6 billion in July 2008. Soon-Shiong later founded Abraxis BioScience (maker of the drug Abraxane he co-discovered), a company he sold to Celgene in 2010 in cash-and-stock deal, valued at over $3 billion. The medical visionary invented Abraxane, a drug used for treating pancreatic cancer which was very successful. Abraxane became the top medicine for treating cancer shortly.Soon-Shiong founded NantHealth in 2007 to provide fiber-optic, cloud-based data infrastructure to share healthcare information.  

Soon-Shiong went on to found NantWorks in September 2011, which mission was “to converge ultra-low power semiconductor technology, supercomputing, high performance, secure advanced networks and augmented intelligence to transform how we work, play, and live.”  In January 2013, he founded another biotech company, NantOmics, to develop cancer drugs based on protein kinase inhibitors. NantOmics and its sister company, NantHealth, were subsidiaries of NantWorks. Soon-Shiong stated that NantWorks’ vision for the future of cancer treatment was a convergence of multiple technologies that included diagnostics, supercomputing, network modeling of sharing data on tumor genes and personalized cocktails of cancer drugs in multi-target attacks, to achieve a sustained disease-free state.

In early 2016, Soon-Shiong launched the National Immunotherapy Coalition to encourage rival pharmaceutical companies to work together to test combinations of cancer-fighting drugs.

In 2010, with Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, Soon-Shiong founded the Healthcare Transformation Institute (HTI), which he dubs a “do-tank”.HTI’s mission is to promote a paradigm shift in health care in the United States by better integrating the three now separate domains of medical science, health delivery, and healthcare finance.  In 2014, Soon-Shiong funded online streaming music service AccuRadio, investing $2.5 million into the first round of funding for America’s fastest-growing music webcaster.

In July 2015, Soon-Shiong initiated an IPO for NantKwest (formerly ConkWest) that represented the highest value biotech IPO in history, at a market value of $2.6 billion.  In April 2016, the Los Angeles Times reported that Soon-Shiong received a pay package in 2015 from NantKwest worth almost $148 Million, making him one of the highest paid CEOs.  Soon-Shiong is also a member of the Berggruen Institute’s 21st Century Council.In early January 2017, as announced by Sean Spicer, then President-elect Donald Trump met with Soon-Shiong at his Bedminster, NJ estate to discuss national medical priorities.

In February 2018, the Los Angeles Times reported that Soon-Shiong’s investment firm Nant Capital reached a deal to purchase the Los Angeles Times and The San Diego Union-Tribune from Tronc Inc. for “nearly $500 million in cash” as well as the assumption of $90 million in pension obligations.  Soon-Shiong, with this acquisition became one of the first Asian-Americans to become a media proprietor through ownership in a major daily newspaper in the United States.

His work and research towards cancer treatment was recognized by many international and national awards.

In 2007, St. Mary Medical Center Life Achievement Award, St. Johns Health Center Caritas, Ellis Island Medal of Honor. In 2008 he was awarded Medical Visionary and in 2010 he was also awarded Business Person of the Year, Distinguished Medical Science.

Patrick Soon Shiong is married to Michele B Chan who was an actress. The couple funded many health care projects as part of their Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation.Shiong is the member of Giving Pledge. He donated $136 million to St. John’s Health Center of Santa Monica, California and $5 million for patient care development to University of Chicago. He holds 4.5 percent stake of Los Angeles Lakers. Shiong and companies continue to look for newer drugs via research every passing year.