This month, we’ve covered the $13 billion dollar man, Patrick Soon-Shiong as he transforms cancer fighting into what only can be described as a mix between Star Wars and Ironman technology.
Dr. Soon-Shiong has been red-hot this month, snapping up companies to partner with and own under his parent company NantWorks which is leveraging technology in the fields of advanced semi-conductors, supercomputing, advanced networks and augmented intelligence to diagnose and treat cancer patients over hours, not months.
This past week Dr. Soon-Shiong partnered with Conkwest, Inc., the “Natural Killer Cell Company of the West,” which develops a proprietary Natural Killer (NK) cell-line platform Neukoplast® (NK-92™) as an immuno-oncology therapeutic.
The agreement between Dr. Soon-Shiong and Conkwest included a $48 million purchase of Class A common stock and the position of co-Chairman of the Conkwest board of directors. There’s also an additional $2 million of Class A common stock purchase separately by Sorrento Therapeutics (Nasdaq: SRNE).
As you may recall on December 19 , I wrote about Dr. Soon-Shiong’s sizable investment in Sorrento at $41 million for 19.9% equity stake in the company. This caused Sorrento share price to go up 80%, closing at $8.48, the Thursday after the deal was complete.
After leveling off in the mid-$8 range, news of the Soon-Shiong/Sorrento deal with Conkwest, further pushed shares of Sorrento (Nasdaq: SRNE) above $10 on Tuesday of this week.
Investors know that Patrick Soon-Shiong is meticulously adding truly disruptive technology long ball hitters under his NantWorks conglomeration and they want a piece of the action. Unfortunately, Conkwest is not a publicly traded company, so the best plays are still in the publicly traded companies under the NantWorks umbrella, such as Sorrento Therapeutics.
Dr. Soon-Shiong sincerely believes in the powerful collaboration that will come from this new partnership stating in the press conference afterward:
“The collaborations between NantWorks and Sorrento and between Sorrento and Conkwest offer access to state-of-the-art technologies, capabilities and expertise that are synergistic and will enable the accelerated development of many potent and novel cancer immunotherapies.”
He further went on to comment about how the partnership will be revolutionizing cancer fighting utilizing their combined technologies:
“Immunotherapy is one of the most powerful next-generation platforms added to our war against cancer. Integration of Nantomics advanced proteomics platform with the power of Sorrento’s fully human antibody libraries and Conkwest’s natural killer cell-lines is expected to enable an approach to attack tumors and their micro-metastases in a manner never before addressed.”
Across the biotech sector as a whole, the past two years have given us many companies that have decided to go with initial public offerings to raise capital but we’re beginning to see more and more deals from private investors as we head into 2015, such as the NantWorks/Conkwest deal.
To combat this, I’ll continue to monitor via social media the publicly traded companies that are ripe for private acquisition or at least have a piece of a private deal such as Sorrento in the NantWorks/Conkwest collaboration.
I’ll also share strategies that will help you take advantage of these situations via my Biotech Intel Trader service.
As always, I’ll continue to monitor the market’s social media collective intelligence and keep you updated on the latest trends.
Happy New Year!
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Ahead of the Curve With Adam O’Dell
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