On the phone, Patrick Soon-Shiong speaks slowly and deliberately. He clearly trusts himself, but he doesn’t trust journalists anymore.
A series of scathing articles by STAT News and Politico sent stocks in his publicly-traded companies tumbling earlier this year. On Monday, he has an opportunity to change that narrative somewhat, with the unveiling of data from human trials of his cancer vaccine at a major oncology conference.
The stories allege that despite his bold claims, Soon-Shiong’s NantWorks subsidiaries are underperforming and reliant on contracts from other companies in the group. Reporters have also claimed that one of his companies, NantHealth, has received contracts from institutions that had received donations from his nonprofit foundation — a major conflict of interest. This was not adequately disclosed prior to the massive initial public offering of NantHealth, they argue, which may violate SEC laws.
For his part, Soon-Shiong, dismisses the allegations noting that part of the motivation behind those stories was political: “They had never written about me until they saw this picture of me with Trump.”
Speaking to MedCity on Wednesday after his recent appointment to a national health IT advisory committee, Soon-Shiong detailed how the various threads of his career are converging toward a pivotal moment. A solution for healthcare is almost within reach and he’s poised to unveil what he believes is a disruptive cancer therapy – the Nant vaccine – at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago on Monday.
This story clearly clashes with many other viewpoints in the industry.