Soon-Shiong's big rollup gets a name: NantWorks

By Brian Dolan
05:12 am

Dr Patrick Soon-ShiongDr. Patrick Soon-Shiong announced that NantWorks is the name of the company that he has been building through a series of acquisitions over the past few years. Following the sales of two companies Soon-Shiong founded -- American Pharmaceutical Partners (sold 2008) and Abraxis BioScience (sold 2010) -- he has invested more than $400 million dollars in acquisitions, according to a NantWorks press release.

In February Soon-Shiong acquired GlowCaps maker Vitality for an undisclosed sum thought to be in the low tens of millions. Unclear whether GlowCaps will be a part of NantWorks.

It's very likely, however, that a number of other Soon-Shiong investments were in companies that are now a part of NantWorks.

According to the NantWorks press release, "the range of technologies in the NantWorks portfolio affects the entire continuum of advanced communications... state of the art semiconductor chips, switches and encryption technologies, augmented reality, novel object and voice recognition technologies, broadband telecommunications services and ultra-low power remote monitoring devices."

Let's take those one at a time.

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong is a director and owner of Tensorcom, a fabless semiconductor company that is a big proponent of WiGig. Orang Dialameh, an executive at Tensorcom, joined Soon-Shiong on-stage during his keynote presentation at the CTIA event this past March where Dialameh demo'd technology from a different company, Ipplex, where he is CEO and Co-Founder. Ipplex offers a novel object recognition technology and augmented reality offering called LookTel, which in its first iteration uses a phone's camera to help visually impaired users identify currencies and other objects. Soon-Shiong is also the largest shareholder in KeyOn Communications, which has a subsidiary called CommX that offers broadband telecommunications services. The Ultra-low power remote monitoring devices might include those Soon-Shiong plans to create along with UK-based Toumaz. In July Soon-Shiong announced plans to bring Toumaz's wireless health sensor to the US in a joint venture with the UK-based company that could see Soon-Shiong investing upwards of $25 million. He had previously invested $2 million in the company.

Tensorcom, Ipplex, KeyOn, Toumaz US and maybe Vitality GlowCaps. Some of the likely constituents of Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong's recently named rollup, NantWorks.

More details in the press release below:

LOS ANGELES, Sep 06, 2011 -- Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., announced today that he has formed a new company, NantWorks LLC, which will combine several technology businesses into a single entity for the purpose of bringing the digital revolution to the service of healthcare, education, science and the justice system, as well as taking digital entertainment to an entirely new level. Since selling the two companies he founded -- American Pharmaceutical Partners in 2008 and Abraxis BioScience in 2010 -- he has invested in excess of $400 million acquiring and developing numerous digital technologies.

Dr. Soon-Shiong, who is a medical scientist and an inventor as well as a physician and surgeon, said his interest in digital technology stems from his conviction that it is the key to the future of healthcare. Dr. Soon-Shiong addressed this fact in his keynote address to the CTIA wireless industry convention in Orlando, Florida in March of this year.

The range of technologies in the NantWorks portfolio affects the entire continuum of advanced communications. It includes state of the art semiconductor chips, switches and encryption technologies, augmented reality, novel object and voice recognition technologies, broadband telecommunications services and ultra-low power remote monitoring devices.

"The convergence of all these technologies under one company enables us to bring a true digital revolution to many aspects of people's lives," Dr. Soon-Shiong said. "This goes way beyond media and entertainment -- though we are confident that what we are doing will take the digital aspects of these industries to a new level. It includes areas where advances in technology are most severely needed, such as healthcare and scientific research, education and even within our justice system."

"NantWorks brings together experts from many different scientific backgrounds -- mathematicians, advanced network scientists, physicists, software engineers, mechanical engineers, game developers, among others -- to create an environment of innovation for solving some of the most challenging problems of our times," he continued. "The companies we have collected are, together, forming a 'Silicon Beach' here in the Los Angeles area."

About Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D.

Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., is a South African-born Chinese American physician, surgeon, scientist and inventor who has pioneered revolutionary new treatments for diabetes and cancer. He is a named inventor on more than 50 patents and the author of more than 100 scientific papers. He developed the first encapsulated islet cell transplantation treatment for diabetes and the first nanoparticle albumin-bound FDA-approved oncology drug. He is the founder and former chief executive officer of two NASDAQ-listed, multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical companies. Dr. Soon-Shiong recently announced the acquisition of ConjuChem LLC, a company which is developing next generation drugs for diabetes and other diseases, also incorporating albumin. He heads the non-profit Chan Soon-Shiong Institute for Advanced Health (CSS Institute), which announced in July 2011 that it had taken over responsibility for National LambdaRail, a non-profit high performance 12,000 mile fiber optic communications network linking leading research institutions throughout the United States to support big science projects; the CSS Institute is in the process of connecting medical research centers, sequencing centers and hospitals to this national network, to create a national health information infrastructure. Dr. Soon-Shiong was awarded the National Library of Medicine's 2010 Distinguished Medical Science Award. Also in 2010, Dr. Soon-Shiong and his wife, Michele B. Chan, were among the first Americans to join with Warren Buffett and Bill Gates in taking the Giving Pledge.



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