Dinner and a biotech chat: Billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong talks ‘innovation’ with President-elect Trump

While MD Anderson has been making trouble for Patrick Soon-Shiong’s cancer moon shot campaign, the high-profile biotech billionaire has been making his case directly with President-elect Donald Trump, talking about innovation and healthcare priorities over a meal Saturday night.

Soon-Shiong, who made a fortune selling Abraxane to Celgene, was on the weekend agenda of the busy president-elect, who’s been interviewing potential Cabinet picks and hobnobbing with the Republican elite at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. The lineup included one-time harsh critic, and current fan, Mitt Romney. And Soon-Shiong’s dinner with vice-president-elect Pence and Trump was spiced with some biotech chatter.

Soon-Shiong becomes the first prominent industry figure to speak directly with Trump since his stunning upset victory. So what did they talk about?

“Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong joined President-elect Trump and Vice President-elect Pence for dinner this evening,” says the Trump camp’s latest missive on his meetings Saturday. “The renowned doctor has appeared on the cover of Forbes for his advances in finding a cure for cancer. They discussed innovation in the area of medicine and national medical priorities that need to be addressed in our country.”

No one has told me anything about this talk, but the industry will be working hard to influence Trump’s position and policies on pricing new drugs—where the innovation rubber hits the road. Soon-Shiong’s sit-down with Trump comes as industry execs appear to be gaining confidence that his inauguration may well boost investors’ confidence in the industry.

Soon-Shiong’s camp did not answer my query about the details of their conversation, but the billionaire didn’t miss a chance to spotlight his access in a tweet.

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Research Scientist - Immunology
Recursion Pharmaceuticals Salt Lake City, UT
Director of Operations
Atlas Venture Cambridge, MA

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