While there is a lot of money to be made in the healthcare sector, we seldom come across a lot of billionaires in this sector unlike tech and other dominant industries. One may assume healthcare isn’t as lucrative as its non-healthcare counterparts as it is without the very wide or rapid profit margins but there are few healthcare elites who have defied this narrative against all odds and made it to the league of 3-commas in the healthcare sector. Patrick Soon-Shiong is one of such elite and while his achievements are applauded and recognized, many people still do not know who he is. So, in this piece, we will focus on the life of Patrick Soon-Shiong and what he did differently to amass a $7.2 billion net worth!
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What Do We Know About Patrick Soon-Shiong?
Patrick Soon-Shiong is a Chinese-South African who was born in the Porth Elizabeth Union of South Africa in 1952. His parents were Chinese immigrants who had left China during World War II. By age 23, Patrick had obtained a degree in medicine at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg where he graduated as the 4th best graduating student in a class of 189 at the young age of 23. Patrick had his medical internship at Johannesburg’s General Hospital before proceeding to obtain his master’s degree from the University of British Columbia in 1979 which earned him research awards from the Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons of Canada, the American College of Surgeons, and the American Association of Academic Surgery.
In 1983, Patrick relocated to the U.S where he began his surgical training at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and became a board-certified surgeon a year later. Patrick Soon-Shiong is a proud Fellow of both the American College of Surgeons and the Royal College of Surgeons Canada.
Nascent of Patrick’s Fulfilling Medical Career
Patrick Soon-Shiong in his first 5 years at UCLA had performed the first whole-pancreas transplant done at UCLA, he had also served as an associate investigator at the center for Ulcer Research and Education. That’s not all, he also performed the experimental Type 1 diabetes treatment known as encapsulated-human-islet transplant and the “first pig-to-man islet-cell transplant in diabetic patients.
It was around this time he set up his Veterans Affairs hospital in West L.A, where he worked with three staff members. In 1998, he acquired Fujisawa which sold invitro generic drugs and he used the proceeds to create Abraxane, one of the most effective breast, pancreatic, and lung cancer treatment medications.
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Transition To Big Pharma: Road to Billions
Patrick probably never saw the waves Abraxane was going to make because after creating Abraxane, it became a success thanks to its effectiveness and efficacy against breast, lung, and pancreatic cancer. Two decades later, he sold his drug companies American Pharmaceutical Partner and Abraxis Bioscience for a massive $9.1 billion; it was around this time he founded his multinational biotechnology conglomerate holding company NantWorks LLC which serves as a parent company for his NantHealth, NantOmics, NantPharma, Nantbiocell, and other groups of companies focused on biotech, artificial intelligence, and healthcare.
This accidental billionaire as he commonly calls himself is just someone who saw an opportunity to create medical inventions and solutions and turn them into a money-making venture while ensuring that he is the only one who remains at the top. Patrick is known for giving room for very minimal competition. In 2015, he acquired exclusive rights to the drug Cynviloq from Sorrento Therapeutics because the drug could have gone shoulder to shoulder with his Abraxane should it make its way into the market and well, that would have been bad for business and probably reduce his profit margins.
Investments, Shares, And Notable Purchases
Patrick Soon-Shiong who is currently estimated to be worth $10 billion despite all his investments and purchases has proven time and time again that he is not only interested in biotech, but that he is interested in other fields as well. Word has it that he currently has about eleven investments, part of which includes Zoom, Heliogen, Fluential, NantKwest, NantMobile, DirectaPlus, PacketFabric, Sienza Energy, Wibbitz, Keyssa, and ImmunityBio. He has a 2% stake in Celgene and after a merger between ImunityBio and NantKwest, he became a major shareholder of both biotech firms in 2021 with about 80% stake. He also holds stakes in CytRx and the media firm, Tribune Publishing.
In 2010, the self-acclaimed accidental billionaire acquired a 4.5% stake in the professional basketball team, Los Angeles Lakers. He bought this stake for $27 million from the retired Lakers star Earvin Magic Johnson Jr. and according to 2021 reports by Sportico, that stake is worth a massive $5.6 billion now. 2018 saw Patrick making a sleek move to acquire the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Tribunes for a whopping $500 million. Isn’t that incredible?
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Sources: Forbes, Bloomberg, and Press Gazette
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