Patrick Soon-Shiong acquires stake in 6 California hospitals

The move could help the NantHealth founder and billionaire biotech mogul, who is embroiled in various controversies, with precision medicine efforts.
By Bill Siwicki
01:22 PM
Patrick Soon-Shiong

NantWorks, founded by the controversial healthcare figure Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, a billionaire doctor, has acquired a controlling stake in Verity Health, formerly known as Integrity Healthcare. The health system encompasses six hospitals in California, including St. Francis Medical Center in Lynwood and St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles.

This is another deal that expands Soon-Shiong’s footprint in healthcare. This deal has the potential to help Soon-Shiong forward his precision medicine effort that relies on artificial intelligence to create personalized treatments for patients.

Soon-Shiong’s NantHealth, a company that offers genomic testing, could benefit from the hospital acquisition, laying a foundation for genomic testing work.

[Also: NantHealth's Soon-Shiong doubles down on 'fake news' claims]

Soon-Shiong and two other pharma executives are being sued by attorneys Boyden Gray and Adam Waldman of Washington, D.C., for allegedly attempting to acquire Altor Bioscience through a sweetheart deal. Altor is a 15-year-old immunotherapy company, with 12 ongoing human clinical trials.

The lawsuit, filed June 21, asserts the deal in place benefits Soon-Shiong, Hing C. Wong and Fred Middleton – all board members of Altor Bioscience. The deal comes at the expense of the minority shareholders, which breaches their fiduciary duty.

On another front, Stat reported in April evidence of Soon-Shiong financial indiscretions between his philanthropic efforts and his for-profit businesses.

[Also: NantHealth founder Soon-Shiong hit with lawsuit over attempted takeover]

Stat revealed details of e-mails between NantHealth executives and University of Utah officials that point to at least partial intent to use a $12 million donation to the university to bolster Soon-Shiong’s commercial investments.

A September 2014 memo from the University of Utah, sent a few days before the donation was made official, said the genetic analysis paid for by Soon-Shiong’s funding would be performed by his team. Another university document said a Soon-Shiong company would keep copies of the patient data from the sequencing project that would develop a “sequencing and bioinformatics platform.”

Internal e-mails from NantHealth revealed executives believed the arrangement was designed to help the business.

These controversies did not stop U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan from appointing the billionaire biotech mogul to the Health IT Advisory Committee. The 25-member committee, established through the 21st Century Cures Act, will advise the president and his administration on health IT policy.

Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
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