Billionaire Soon-Shiong accused of "catching and killing" cancer drug

Billionaire Soon-Shiong accused of

PanARMENIAN.Net - Patrick Soon-Shiong, the billionaire biotech investor, has been accused of “catching and killing” a generic version of a cancer drug that would have competed with one from Celgene, where he was the largest shareholder, Financial Times reports.

Sorrento Therapeutics, a San Diego-based biotech company, is seeking more than $1bn in damages from the investor and owner of the LA Times, claiming he acquired the drug Cynviloq to stop its progression to market — and ensure the blockbuster chemotherapy drug Abraxane continued to sell without competition. Cynviloq, bioequivalent to Abraxane, is a generic version.

In an SEC filing, Sorrento said it had filed two legal actions against Soon-Shiong and entities controlled by him.

It accuses Soon-Shiong of taking $90m from the joint venture’s account and swapping it for the Cynviloq asset, now owned by another company of his, which Sorrento alleges has been “neglected” and “devalued”.

In the filing, Sorrento accuses Soon-Shiong of “the catching and killing of a cancer drug that — had it been brought to market as planned — would have saved patients, hospitals, and the United States government in excess of $1bn”.

Soon-Shiong sold chemotherapy drug Abraxane to Celgene for $2.9bn in 2010, which at the time made him the largest shareholder in the company. Bristol-Myers Squibb is in the process of buying Celgene in a $90bn deal.

Despite acquiring a series of trophy assets over the past year including a stake in US soccer club DC United, Soon-Shiong’s hospital business has been facing problems. Verity Health System, a hospital chain in California that he backed, filed for bankruptcy last year after failing to turn round the ailing operation.

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