Patrick Soon-Shiong’s NantWorks LLC on Tuesday said that New York investment firm Blackstone has invested $125 million in one of its health care companies, NantPharma.
It’s the first time NantWorks, the billionaire’s West L.A. holding company, has accepted a large outside investment into one of its start-ups. Soon-Shiong told the Business Journal that two Blackstone executives will bring their expertise in growing health care companies as new members of NantPharma’s board.
NantPharma, which is based in Los Angeles and operates four drug manufacturing and research facilities in other states, specializes in creating safer, more efficiently processed drug components and treatments for diseases ranging from hemophilia to immune system disorders. It employs 250 people, about 50 of them in Los Angeles.
“Our country must have absolutely reliable sources of blood plasma products,” Soon-Shiong said. “We must also enhance our capabilities to manufacture injectable and next generation drugs in America.”
NantWorks last week announced a joint venture with Malibu toymaker Jakks Pacific Inc. to create interactive toys. The toys will include image recognition technology that another NantWorks company developed to assist the blind.