What is Patrick Soon-Shiong’s Net Worth?
Patrick Soon-Shiong is a South African-born surgeon and drug developer who has a net worth of $10 billion dollars. Patrick Soon-Shiong has at times been the richest person in Los Angeles thanks to his extremely lucrative career as a biotech entrepreneur.
In 2010, Patrick purchased Magic Johnson’s 4.5% ownership stake in the Los Angeles Lakers. He is the largest Lakers owner outside of the Buss family. With the transaction, Soon-Shiong also acquired four courtside Lakers seats.
From Humble Surgeon to Multi-Billionaire
Soon-Shiong left UCLA in 1991 and founded a biotechnology company called Abraxis BioScience. Under Patrick’s leadership, the company eventually developed a revolutionary drug used in the treatment of breast, lung and pancreatic cancers. The drug, Abraxane, was approved by the FDA in 2005 and the European equivalent in 2008 for the treatment of breast cancer when chemotherapy was not working. By 2009, Abraxane generated $315 million in revenue per year. In 2010 Abraxis BioScience, which was still solely owned by Soon-Shiong, was acquired by American biotech company Celgene for $3 billion in cash and stock.
Turns out, this acquisition wasn’t even his biggest success in the business world! In 1997, Patrick founded a company called American Pharmaceutical Partners (APP) which manufactured generic intravenous medicines. By 2008, APP was generating $750 million per year in revenue, of which roughly $300 million was pure profit. In July of 2008, Homberg, Germany-based Fresnius SE agreed to acquire APP for $5.6 billion. At the time of the transaction, Patrick Soon-Shiong owned 80% of APP’s shares.
Not one to rest on his laurels, Soon-Shiong founded another company called NantWorks in September 2011. Nantworks’s health division NantHealth aims to provide cloud-based data to the healthcare industry. One of the company’s super computers is now able to analyze and transfer the genetic data from a tumor in under a minute.
Soon-Shiong was born on July 29, 1952 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. His parents were Chinese immigrants who fled from China during the Japanese occupation during World War II. He attended the University of Witwatersrand and received a bachelor’s degree in medicine before going to Johannesburg General Hospital to complete his medical internship. He then enrolled at the University of British Columbia where he earned a master’s degree and then moved to the United States to attend surgical training at the University of California, Los Angeles. He became a board-certified surgeon in 1984 and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
Soon-Shiong began his medical career as a faculty member at UCLA Medical School, where he served as a faculty transplant surgeon from 1983 until 1991. He performed the first whole-pancreas transplant at UCLA and also developed a new experimental Type 1 diabetes treatment involving transplanting some pig cells to humans. While Soon-Shiong left UCLA in 1991 to pursue opportunities in medical technologies, he returned in 2009 to serve as a professor, teaching subjects in immunology, molecular genetics, bioengineering, and microbiology, which he continues to do to this day.
When Soon-Shiong left UCLA in 1991, he started a diabetes and cancer biotechnology firm called VivoRx, Inc. He then founded APP Pharmaceuticals in 1997 and also purchased Fujisawa in 1998. From the revenue from Fujisawa, he developed the drug Abraxane through his company Abraxis BioScience. Abraxane was a successful treatment for various types of cancer. He sold Abraxis BioScience to Calgene in 2010.
In 2007, Soon-Shiong founded NantHealth, a company designed to provide fiber-optic, cloud-based data infrastructure that aids in the sharing of healthcare information. A few years later, in 2011, he founded NantWorks, a company that used supercomputing and semiconductor technology to create various solutions to work and life problems. His efforts with NantHealth helped further cancer research, as the company was able to analyze genetic data from a tumor sample in under one minute and could then transfer the data elsewhere in under 20 seconds. The research helped further The Cancer Genome Atlas.
In 2010, Soon-Shiong founded the Healthcare Transformation Institute along with Arizona State University and the University of Arizona. HTI had the goal of promoting a shift in health care in the United States by better integrating medical science, health delivery, and healthcare finance. In 2013, Soon-Shiong founded NantOmics, another biotech company that aimed to develop cancer drugs based on protein kinase inhibitors. He reorganized his companies so that both NantOmics and NantHealth were subsidiaries of NantWorks, which then focused primarily on reimaging the future of cancer treatments. He also initiated an IPO for NantKwest in 2015 at a market value of $2.6 billion, the highest value biotech IPO in history.
The following year, in 2016, he launched the National Immunotherapy Coalition with the goal of encouraging rival pharmaceutical companies to work together to test various combinations of cancer-fighting drugs. Soon-Shiong also consulted with Vice President Joe Biden during the Obama administration to discuss more ambitious cancer treatment approaches and then with President-elect Donald Trump in 2017 to discuss natinoal medical priorities. In 2017, he was appointed to the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee by House Speaker Paul Ryan.
In early 2021, Soon-Shiong announced a merger between publicly traded NantKwest and the privately held entity, ImmunityBio. The result was a new public entity known as Immunity Bio, Inc. By the summer, ImmunityBio had developed a T cell-inducing universal COVID-19 vaccine booster shot in South Africa. In September of 2021, Soon-Shiong and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a new venture called NantAfrica. NantAfrica plans to work with Nantworks to expand the capability of vaccine development on the African continent. NantWords signed a collaboration agreement with the South African government’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and the South African Medical Research Council and plans to invest over $200 million in the project.
In addition to his medical endeavors, Soon-Shiong is also an investor in a number of other businesses and technologies. He was an early investor in Zoom in 2013. He has also invested in AccuRadio and Wibbitz. He also purchased the Los Angeles Times and The San Diego Union-Tribune in 2018 for almost $500 million in cash, making him one of the first Asian-American media proprietors of a major daily newspaper in the United States. Additionally, he has also helped in the development of a zinc air battery through his company, NantEnergy, and has invested in a graphene based technology company in Europe called Directa Plus. In 2021, he announced he would be investing in the bio renewables company called NantRenewables.
Soon-Shiong is married to former actress Michele B. Chan. The couple have two children together and live in Los Angeles, California. The couple was invited by the Smithsonian in 2017 to be part of a permanent exhibit called “Many Voices, One Nation” in the West Wing of the museum.