Soon-Shiong's NantCell hauls in another $100M for immuno-oncology R&D

Patrick Soon-Shiong

NantCell, one of billionaire entrepreneur Patrick Soon-Shiong's biotech ventures, raised $100 million in equity cash, moving forward with some in-licensed immuno-oncology treatments.

The company's latest fundraise comes on the heels of a $75 million round revealed in June, each coming from a single, undisclosed investor. Like all of Soon-Shiong's biotech endeavors, NantCell says little outside of the occasional press release--heavy on the bluster that is its founder's trademark--and the company didn't respond to a request for comment on its $100 million equity sale.

Unveiled in January, NantCell is an offshoot of Soon-Shiong's NantWorks conglomerate focused on treatments that use the body's natural defenses to fight cancer. The company's first move was paying an undisclosed sum to get its hands on Amgen's ($AMGN) ganitumab, a once-failed antibody treatment NantCell believes it can resurrect. In March, the company broadened its pipeline by trading $110 million in cash and equity for the rights to some immunotherapies from Sorrento Therapeutics ($SRNE), a frequent NantWorks collaborator.

NantCell is among about a dozen companies, most of them oncology biotechs, operating under Soon-Shiong's umbrella. There's NantiBody, a joint venture with Sorrento; NantPharma, at work on a next-generation version of Celgene's ($CELG) Abraxane; NantBioScience, developing nanoparticle cancer treatments; and, most recently, NantKwest ($NK), an immuno-oncology company that raised more than $200 million in a July IPO that gave it a roughly $3 billion valuation.

Meanwhile, Soon-Shiong's biggest deal yet could come in the form of a long-expected IPO for NantHealth, the underpinning of his various biotech ventures and provider of what its founder calls "the Google of genome mapping." Last month, Soon-Shiong invested $100 million in electronic medical records outfit AllScripts Healthcare in exchange for that company putting $200 million into NantHealth. The trade gives NantHealth a $2 billion valuation, and Soon-Shiong says the next step is an IPO.

- read the filing

Special Report: The 25 most influential people in biopharma in 2015 - Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong - NantWorks