World's Richest Doctor Patrick Soon-Shiong Meets With President-Elect Donald Trump
11/21/2016 5:47:18 AM
November 21, 2016
By Alex Keown, BioSpace.com Breaking News Staff
WASHINGTON – The man billed as the world’s richest doctor, Patrick Soon-Shiong, met with President-elect Donald Trump Sunday night for dinner.
The two men spent their dinner talking about “innovation in the area of medicine and national medical priorities that need to be addressed in our country,” according to information provided by the Trump transition team. The Trump team also highlighted Soon-Shiong as a renowned doctor who has “appeared on the cover of Forbes for his advances in finding a cure for cancer.” Little else was said about that meeting by the Trump team and Soon-Shiong, who has launched several biotech companies. Soon-Shiong did tweet that Trump wants to “advance healthcare for all.”
According to Endpoints, Soon-Shiong is the “first prominent industry figure” to talk directly with Trump since he defeated Hilary Clinton in the election.
It’s likely the duo talked about potential solutions to the Trump camp’s pledge to make changes to the Affordable Care Act (which has been a contentious issue for many leading Republicans), drug pricing and innovation. Over the past year, Washington officials have railed against the high costs of prescription medications, even ordering some industry leaders to Washington to address Congress.
So far, industry officials seem to believe that Trump will not mandate price controls, as Clinton proposed during her run-up to the campaign. Trump was not as vocal about capping prices, but has called for the federal government supported prescription programs to negotiate drug prices. He said such a maneuver could save up to $300 billion annually.
Since Trump’s victory, biotech stocks have performed well. There is also hope among industry leaders that Trump will implement changes to the U.S. Tax Code that will make it easier for companies to bring off-shore money back into the United States, which could spur a resurgence of M&A activity.
Soon-Shiong, often dubbed “the world’s richest doctor,” has a number of biotech or life science-related business ventures under his umbrella company, NantWorks. In January Soon-Shiong organized a coalition of companies, academics, researchers and more to launch MoonShot 2020, which is focused on bringing the “promise of combined immunotherapy as the next-generation standard of cancer care” to children diagnosed with the disease.The MoonShot 2020 has a central mission to design, initiate and finish randomized clinical trials in up to 20 tumor types in cancers of all stages in 20,000 patients by the year 2020. MoonShot 2020 is made up of companies including Celgene (CELG), Amgen (AMGN) and Merck KgaA (MKGAF).
In addition to NantWorks, Soon-Shiong is also the former founder of Abraxis and American Pharmaceutical Partners, which he sold for a combined $9.1 billion. He also invented the drug Abraxane for use against pancreatic cancer.
Trump also spent part of his Sunday with General James Mattis, a man rumored to be a top choice for Secretary of Defense. Mattis serves as a board member for embattled Theranos. According to the Trump team, their conversation was not about scientific advancement, but military concerns, including “ISIS, the Middle East, North Korea, China, NATO and other hotspots around the world.”
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