People, Workforce

Gushing red ink, biotech billionaire Soon-Shiong slashes staff at NantHealth by 300, sells assets

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong. Credit: NHS Confederation

Reeling from growing losses and under the gun after numerous reports of self-dealing, biotech billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong is slashing NantHealth’s $NH staff by 300 and triggering a company-wide reorganization aimed at circling the wagons around its core technology.

In the first six months of this year, losses at NantHealth hit $111 million, up from $87 million for the same period last year.

As a result, Soon-Shiong is either laying off or transferring 300 staffers to Allscripts after selling off its “provider/patient engagement assets.”

NantHealth’s Q2 statement says Soon-Shiong’s company will “focus the business on its core competencies of artificial intelligence and be the leading cancer company driving 21st century delivery of care. The restructuring included integrating the multiple acquisitions and partnership with NantOmics made prior to its IPO to focus on Cancer machine learning systems and artificial intelligence, including GPS Cancer ProteoGenomic Molecular Profiling Solution…”

There have been several reports spotlighting questionable business activities at NantHealth, with STAT and Politico highlighting evidence that Soon-Shiong had used his charitable activities to pump up the numbers at NantHealth on its GPS Cancer diagnostic tests. STAT also essentially accused Soon-Shiong of using his much ballyhooed cancer moon shot program to market the tests.

Soon-Shiong has vehemently denied the charges, though, referring to them as “maliciously false.”

Through it all, the company’s shares have shrunk as the tide of red ink rose. Shares closed this afternoon at $4.05.

With a personal fortune valued at $8.5 billion, Soon-Shiong made an enormous splash with two startups that went on to IPOs. But like NantHealth, his cancer-fighting biotech NantKwest has struggled to please investors as well. Based on Soon-Shiong’s billionaire glow, the $NK stock went public at $25 a share. It sits at a little more than $5 today.

Nevertheless, Soon-Shiong continues to talk up a new IPO for NantBio, another cancer company making large claims regarding natural killer cells.

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