Patrick Soon-Shiong

Patrick Soon-Shiong
Born (1952-07-29) July 29, 1952
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Nationality South African
Alma mater University of Witwatersrand (MBBCh)
University of British Columbia (MS)
Known for co-discovery of Abraxane
pancreatic islet cell transplant techniques
Net worth US$7.6 billion (August 2018)[1]
Spouse(s) Michele B. Chan
Children 2

Patrick Soon-Shiong (Chinese: 黃馨祥; pinyin: Huáng Xīnxiáng, Mandarin pronunciation: [xu̯ɑ̌ŋ ɕín ɕi̯ɑ̌ŋ]; born July 29, 1952) is a South African/American surgeon, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He is chair of NantWorks, LLC,[2] executive director of the Wireless Health Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles, and an adjunct professor of surgery at UCLA.[3][4] 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.[2] Soon-Shiong has been a minority owner of the Los Angeles Lakers since 2010. Since 2018, he has been the owner of the Los Angeles Times and The San Diego Union-Tribune.[5] In April 2016, the Los Angeles Times reported him to be one of the highest-paid CEOs for 2015.[6] As of November 2016, Soon-Shiong was estimated by Forbes as having a net worth of US$9 billion, ranking him #47 among US billionaires. As of December 2016, he has 92 US and 138 international patents.[1]

Early life and education

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.[7][8] His parents were originally from Toisan in Guangdong province and of the Hakka people and language group.[8][7] His ancestral surname is Wong (Huang 黃).[8]

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.[9] He completed his medical internship at Johannesburg's General Hospital.[10] He then studied at the University of British Columbia, where he earned a master's degree in 1979,[11] 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.[12]

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.[13] Soon-Shiong is a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (Canada) and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.[12][3]

Soon-Shiong joined UCLA Medical School in 1983 and served on that faculty until 1991,[14][3] as a transplant surgeon.[7] Between 1984 and 1987, he served as an associate investigator at the Center for Ulcer Research and Education.[3] Soon-Shiong performed the first whole-pancreas transplant done at UCLA,[15][16] 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."[15] 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.[17]


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.[18] Soon-Shiong later founded Abraxis BioScience (maker of the drug Abraxane he co-discovered),[19] a company he sold to Celgene in 2010 in cash-and-stock deal, valued at over $3 billion.[20]

Soon-Shiong founded NantHealth in 2007 to provide fiber-optic, cloud-based data infrastructure to share healthcare information.[21] Soon-Shiong went on to found NantWorks in September 2011, whose 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."[22][23] In October 2012, Soon-Shiong announced that NantHealth's supercomputer-based system and network were able to analyze the genetic data from a tumor sample in 47 seconds and transfer the data in 18 seconds. The goal of developing this infrastructure and digital technologies was to share genomic information among sequencing centers, medical research hubs and hospitals, and to advance cancer research and big science endeavors such as The Cancer Genome Atlas.[24] 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.[25]

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".[26] 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.[2][27] 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. [28] 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.[29] 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.[6] Soon-Shiong is also a member of the Berggruen Institute's 21st Century Council.[30][31]

In 2014 Soon-Shiong made a $12 million donation to the University of Utah.[32] An audit three years later found several legal violations. As part of the donation, the university was required to use Soon-Shiong's company for the services required for the research, at a total cost of $10 million. NantHealth set the price for DNA sequencing at $10,000 per sample, while auditors found that other companies charged between $2,900 and $5,000 for the same service.[33] Legal experts referred to it as money laundering,[34][35] or perhaps a technique to receive tax deductions for an investment in Soon-Shiong's own company.

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.[36] He has also met numerous times with former Vice President Joe Biden to discuss more ambitious approaches to fighting cancer, including conducting genomic sequencing of 100,000 patients to create a massive database of potential genetic factors.[37]

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.[38]

In February 2018, the Los Angeles Times reported that Soon-Shiong's investment firm Nant Capital reached a deal to purchase the paper 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.[39] 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.[40] The sale closed on June 18, 2018.[5]

Personal life

He is married to Michele B. Chan, lives in Los Angeles, California, and has two children, daughter Nika and son Luke.[1]


  1. 1 2 3 Forbes Staff. "Forbes profile: Patrick Soon-Shiong". Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  2. 1 2 3 Moukheiber, Zina (2011-11-10). "Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong Wants To Remake The U.S. Health Care System" (online). Forbes. Retrieved 2016-11-20.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Self-published academic biographies providing these details include "Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D." UCLA Engineering. UCLA. Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 3 April 2015., Soon-Shiong, P. (2015). "Patrick Soon Shiong". Institute for Technology Advancement. UCLA Engineering. Retrieved 2015-11-05., and Soon-Shiong, P. (2008). "Curriculum Vitae. Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., MSc, FRCS(C), FACS" (pdf). INC5. California NanoSystems Institute. Retrieved 2015-11-04.
  4. Self-published industry biographies providing these details include Soon-Shiong, P. (2016). "Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., FRCS (C), FACS". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  5. 1 2 "tronc, Inc. Announces Closing of the Los Angeles Times and The San Diego Union-Tribune Sale" (Press release). Chicago: Tronc. June 18, 2018. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
  6. 1 2 Petersen, Melody (2016-04-27). "L.A. Billionaire Soon-Shiong Gets $148-Million Payday Even as His Firm's Stock Tanks" (online). Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-11-20.
  7. 1 2 3 Whitford, David [with Jones, Marty] (2013-12-09). "Whitford, David" (print and online). Fortune. pp. 138–140. Retrieved 2016-11-20.
  8. 1 2 3 GoldSea Staff (c. 2010). "Biotech Kahuna Patrick Soon-Shiong". Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  9. Armstrong, David (2003-06-10). "Vindication". Retrieved 2015-04-13.
  10. "Who is Patrick Soon-Shiong? An L.A. billionaire with big ideas — and mixed achievements". Los Angeles Times. 2018-02-07.
  11. "Fundic Inhibition of Acid Secretion and Gastrin Release (Master's Thesis)". October 1979. Retrieved 2018-05-26.
  12. 1 2 "Patrick Soon-Shiong - Alumni Achievers - News - News & Events - Alumni - Wits University". 13 April 2015. Archived from the original on 13 April 2015.
  13. "American Board of Surgery".
  14. Wileen Wong Kromhout (May 21, 2009). "UCLA names Soon-Shiong executive director of Wireless Health Institute".
  15. 1 2 Light, Leti McNeill (2015). "Visions of Progress and Courage [Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong — Medical Visionary Award]" (print and online). U Magazine (Spring): 42f. Retrieved 2016-11-20.
  16. Whole pancreas transplantation began as a part of multi-organ transplants, in the mid-to-late 1960s, at the University of Minnesota. See Squifflet, J.P.; Gruessner, R.W. & Sutherland, D.E. (2008). "The History of Pancreas Transplantation: Past, Present and Future". Acta Chir Belg. 108 (3, May–June): 367–378. PMID 18710120. The first attempt to cure type 1 diabetes by pancreas transplantation was done at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis, on December 17, 1966… [This] opened the door to a period, between the mid-[1970s] to mid-[1980s] where only segmental pancreatic grafts were used... In the late [1970s] – early [1980s], three major events… boosted the development of pancreas transplantation… [At] the Spitzingsee meetings, participants had the idea to renew the urinary drainage technique of the exocrine secretion of the pancreatic graft with segmental graft and eventually with whole pancreaticoduodenal transplant. That was clinically achieved during the mid-[1980s] and remained the mainstay technique during the next decade. In parallel, the Swedish group developed the whole pancreas transplantation technique with enteric diversion. It was the onset of the whole pancreas reign. The enthusiasm for the technique was rather moderated in its early phase due to the rapid development of liver transplantation and the need for sharing vascular structures between both organs, liver and pancreas. During the modern era of immunosuppression, the whole pancreas transplantation technique with enteric diversion became the gold standard… [for SPK, PAK, PTA].
  17. "Visionary healthcare entrepreneur and philanthropist, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, to speak at UCLA Engineering commencement — UCLA Engineering". May 6, 2011. Archived from the original on 22 May 2012.
  18. Angela Cullen; Eva von Schaper (2008-07-07). "Fresenius Agrees to Buy APP for Up to $4.6 Billion". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on 2016-08-27. Retrieved 2016-08-26.
  19. The discovers on the key patents were N.P. Desai, Soon-Shiong, P.A. Sandford, M.W. Grinstaff, and K.S. Suslick, adding K. S. Wong to the two 1997 patents (see Further reading).
  20. Crowe, Deborah (18 October 2010). "Celgene Closes Abraxis Acquisition". Los Angeles Business Journal. Retrieved 20 October 2010.(subscription required)
  21. "Company Overview of NantHealth, LLC". Bloomberg Businessweek. 27 February 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  22. Shawn Baldwin (September 20, 2014). "Dr. Patrick Soon Shiong Generates Billions of Value Creation in Medicine". Fast Company.
  23. Dolan, Brian (Sep 8, 2011). "'Soon-Shiong's big rollup gets a name: NantWorks'". Retrieved 24 January 2012.
  24. McBride, Ryan (4 October 2012). "Biotech billionaire's supercomputer cuts cancer analysis to 47 seconds". Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  25. Tirrell, Meg (2013-01-28). "Cancer Researcher-Turned-Billionaire Starts New Company". Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  26. Soon-Shiong, Patrick (Sep 8, 2011). "'Message from the CEO and President'". Retrieved 9 April 2012.
  27. Crow, Patrick & Soon-Shiong, Pattrick (2012-09-05). "'Patrick Soon-Shiong Talks With ASU's Michal Crow about the Imminent, Hoped-For Healthcare Revolution'".
  28. Hill, Brad (5 September 2014). "Kurt Hanson's AccuRadio raises $2.5-million funding".
  29. Driebusch, Corrie (2015-07-28). "NantKwest Gives Biotech Another Big IPO". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2016-11-21.
  30. "Berggruen Institute".
  31. Palmeri, Christopher. "'Homeless Billionaire' Charms L.A. With $500 Million Gift", Bloomberg News, May 4, 2016
  32. Rebecca Robbins, STAT. "The world's richest doctor gave away millions — then directed the money back to his own company". Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  33. "Utah audit finds legal violations in university's deal with Patrick Soon-Shiong". 19 October 2017. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  34. "Three times Soon-Shiong's philanthropy raised questions". 6 March 2017. Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  35. "Hughes questions whether University of Utah had a 'Cinderella-slippered' deal when it directed donation money back to donor's company". Retrieved 7 February 2018.
  36. "Rival drug firms team up to test new cancer treatment approach". STAT. 2016-01-11. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
  37. Baker, Peter (2015-11-01). "If Cancer Becomes Biden's Cause, a Bold but Polarizing Doctor Is On Call". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-04-13.
  38. "The full transcript from the Trump transition team's Tuesday call to reporters". Washington Post. January 10, 2017. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
  39. "Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong reaches deal to buy L.A. Times, San Diego Union-Tribune". February 7, 2018. Retrieved February 7, 2018.
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