Pancreatic Cancer Drug Pioneered by NantWorks Chairman Patrick Soon-Shiong Shows Encouraging Trial Results

Results Published in October Edition of Prestigious Journal of Clinical Oncology

LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Chan Soon-Shiong Institute for Advanced Health today welcomed the news that a pilot study in which patients with very advanced metastatic pancreatic cancer were treated with a new combination of the standard drug gemcitabine and a drug called nab™-paclitaxel, has shown impressive results. CSS Institute Chairman, Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., the inventor of nab™-paclitaxel, co-authored a paper on the study, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology on October 3rd. Nab™-paclitaxel (Abraxane®) is manufactured by Abraxis BioScience, a company founded by Dr. Soon-Shiong and now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Celgene.

Daniel Von Hoff, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer at the Scottsdale Healthcare Research Institute where the trials have been conducted, described them as: “A great example of rapid bench to bedside development.” The initial results of the study showed 50% of patients with advanced metastatic pancreatic cancer lived at least a year, which medical director Dr. Ramesh Ramanathan described as: “Very encouraging ... compared with the average survival of six months seen typically in this group of patients.”

Dr. Soon-Shiong and his colleagues at Abraxis BioScience who developed Abraxane® have observed for some years that the response rate among patients is considerably higher for those who express the biomarker SPARC (secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine) – around 80% in the case of metastatic pancreatic cancer patients. The link to SPARC continues to be suggested by the latest results from the Arizona trials.

“This is a significant further step towards personalized, evidence-based medicine,” commented Dr. Soon-Shiong, whose new company, NantWorks LLC, was announced last month. “That must be our goal for 21st century medicine – to treat the patient rather than to treat the disease.”

“I have spent much of my career working on diseases of the pancreas,” said Soon-Shiong, who pioneered whole pancreas transplants and was the first person to develop the islet cell transplantation for diabetics. “Making real progress against pancreatic cancer will be a dream come true.”

About the CSS Institute

The CSS Institute, organized as a 501 (c) 3 non-profit medical research entity, was established in 2011 with core funding from Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong and his wife Michele B. Chan, who have pledged through their family foundation $1 billion for healthcare and health information projects. The CSS Institute currently operates in both California and Arizona and is exploring relationships with other states. In April 2011 it announced the construction of data centers in Phoenix and Scottsdale dedicated to health information storage, and also the construction of a dedicated supercomputer in Phoenix.


Jen Hodson, 310-405-7539
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