The world’s richest doctor, Patrick Soon-Shiong, is back in the spotlight this week with an IPO of one of his spinoff companies, NantKwest Inc. (Nasdaq: NK).
Soon-Shiong owns a private conglomerate called NantWorks. It maintains a family of subsidiary companies specializing in advanced semi-conductor technology, supercomputing, advanced networks, and augmented intelligence. Each works within a larger scheme to diagnose and treat cancer patients.
But NantWorks is privately held, so before this week, the only real way to get publicly traded access was via a partnership they had with Sorrento Therapeutics (Nasdaq: SRNE), which saw its stock go from under $5 in December, to over $25 this month.
This week, when NantKwest went public, the company offered 8.3 million shares at $25. Investor appetite quickly swelled as shares surged 39% to $34.64 at the close of the market.
Investors understand the groundbreaking technology and pedigree of the NantWorks brand. They’re doing everything possible to get a piece of the booming biotech juggernaut.
NantKwest leverages the innovative research methods of the NantWorks conglomerate, but primarily focuses on immunotherapy drug production.
Immunotherapy uses the body’s own defenses to fight cancer and other deadly diseases. This approach has become quite popular over the traditional highly toxic methods of chemotherapy.
NantKwest grows immune system cells, better known as natural killer cells, and provides them to patients through CAR-T therapy. Unlike competitors, NantKwest produces cells that are “off the shelf” and don’t require customization for each patient.
According to Soon-Shiong, using natural killer cells mimics “the natural order of the immune system,” giving patients a safer, non-toxic alternative to chemotherapy chemicals.
If you still want to hop on the NantWorks bandwagon, it’s not too late! Soon-Shiong told the L.A. Times that he intends to take his medical records company NantHealth public by the end of this year. Keep your eyes peeled.
Editor, BioTech Intel Trader
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