Soon-Shiong allies with PA biomedical centers to further genomic research

Patrick Soon-Shiong

Billionaire entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong has teamed up with a medical center and research institute to set up a precision cancer hub. The deal connects the Big Data and immuno-oncology companies in Soon-Shiong's burgeoning NantWorks conglomerate to an emerging center of genomic research and molecular medicine in Pennsylvania.

NantWorks, the conglomerate that houses immuno-oncology IPO star NantKwest ($NK) and Big Data upstart NantHealth, is only tangentially involved with the deal but was still cited as an important component by those at the center of the relationship. The deal sees the Chan Soon-Shiong Institute of Molecular Medicine, (CSSIOMM), a nonprofit set up by Soon-Shiong and his wife, Michele Chan, team up with Windber Medical Center (WMC) and Windber Research Institute (WRI). Together, Soon-Shiong's nonprofit medical research organization, WMC and WRI aim to advance cancer care.

The creation of a precision cancer research institute at WMC and WRI is the centerpiece of the deal. But for the two Windber, PA-based nonprofits, the opportunity to gain a direct line to NantWorks was a motivating factor, too. "Importantly, the transaction will align WMC and WRI with NantWorks," Tom Kurtz, CEO of the pair of nonprofits, said in a statement. "Joining forces with CSSIOMM will allow us to expand our footprint and change lives for the better in our community here in Pennsylvania as well as across the nation."

For Soon-Shiong, the deal adds another outpost to his sprawling network of interests involved with cancer research and care. As well as NantKwest and NantHealth--which Soon-Shiong has called the "the Google of genome mapping"--the billionaire surgeon is involved with NantOmics, a handful of other Nant-prefixed ventures and an alliance between CSSIOMM and the University of Oxford.

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