Patrick Soon-Shiong’s commitment to building his business in El Segundo goes beyond the oncology clinic he opened there earlier this month.
The billionaire biotech entrepreneur has decided to use the city as a home base for manufacturing several components in his treatment regimen, according to new details revealed to the Business Journal.
“We made an important strategic decision to build full commercial scale (World Health Organization standardized) manufacturing plants for our novel proteins and natural killer cells,” Soon-Shiong said in a statement. “These plants are located in El Segundo close to our newly opened cancer center and will serve as a source of living drugs for our trials across the nation.”
A spokeswoman for Soon-Shiong did not rerespond to requests for additional information about how many manufacturing facilities were planned or how many jobs they would bring to El Segundo.
The new facilities are part of Soon-Shiong’s wide-ranging plan to develop a new cancer treatment protocol. NantHealth, one of the several companies Soon-Shiong operates out of his Culver City headquarters, already offers a cancer screening test meant to diagnose patients.
He told the Business Journal in May that he intends to launch a series of cancer treatment clinics – the El Segundo outpost is the first to open – in California. He said he has to roll the program out slowly because it requires retraining doctors.
“We need to manage this very carefully, because it’s a completely new concept,” Soon-Shiong said. “We need to make sure we have the right physicians that are well-trained in this. It’s like relearning cancer treatment from day one, and I need to have very experienced, highly qualified oncologists that understand quality care.”
The doctor’s push into the cancer treatment field hasn’t been without speedbumps, however. Soon-Shiong has been accused recently of funneling donations made to academic research programs back to his for-profit companies.
Shares in two flagship companies have lagged since he took NantKwest public in 2015, followed by NantHealth in 2016. The two companies rank 72nd and 77th, respectively, on this week’s list of largest publicly traded public companies in the area (see related story, page 1; list starts on page 14).
Soon-Shiong was No. 1 this year on the Business Journal’s list of wealthiest Angelenos, with a net worth of $18 billion.
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