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Sorrento Therapeutics seek $1 billion from billionaire biotech investor Patrick Soon-Shiong

Published on 04/04/19 at 10:15am
Image Credit: NHS Confederation

Sorrento Therapeutics is seeking $1 billion in damages from billionaire biotech investor Patrick Soon-Shiong, owner of US newspaper the LA Times.  

The legal action comes after Sorrento accused Soon-Shiong of “catching and killing” a generic version of a cancer drug, which would have acted as competition to one owned by Celgene, a company in which he was the largest shareholder.

Sorrento claim Soon-Shiong acquired Cynviloq, a generic version of Celgene’s Abraxane, with the intention of stopping its progression to market.

The claims come after Sorrento sold Cynviloq to Soon-Shiong’s NantPharma, for $1.3 billion in 2015. However Sorernto are demanding $1 billion in damages as well as punitive damages, over allegations of fraud and breach of contract.

The lawsuit accuses Soon-Shiong of executing “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.”

Sorrento said it had agreed to work with Soon-Shiong in “good faith” in seeking to make Cynviloq a success.

“As alleged in the complaint, in addition to Sorrento, these actions have harmed patients, healthcare providers and payers, who have been deprived of Cynviloq — a potential treatment alternative that we believe would have been as safe, as efficacious and more affordable than Celgene’s blockbuster cancer drug, Abraxane,” the company said in a statement.

The firm also alleges Soon-Shiong took $90 million from Sorrento and Soon-Shiong joint venture Nantibody. Shares in Sorrento jumped 15% on announcement of the news.

Louis Goss

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