BioPharma, Diagnostics

Soon-Shiong’s NantWorks invests $50M in Precision Biologics

Precision Biologics, a Maryland developer of cancer immunotherapies and companion diagnostics, just received a $50 million investment from billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong’s mega-startup, NantWorks.

Patrick Soon-Shiong mega-startup NantWorks just bought out a majority stake in immunotherapy startup Precision Biologics with a $50 million investment.

The Maryland precision medicine biotech is developing a monoclonal antibody approach and companion diagnostics to treat a range of solid tumor disease – particularly advanced pancreatic and colorectal cancers.

NantWorks has been quite acquisitive in recent months; for instance, in September two of its offshoots – NantOmics and NantCell – raised $250 million collectively. From there, NantOmics acquired OncoPlex Diagnostics – another Maryland company that uses mass spectrometry to test tumor cell proteins.

“Based on a proprietary library of cancer vaccines, antigens and antibodies, the company has developed a portfolio of truly unique antibody therapies, which activate an immune response that are tumor and disease specific,” Soon-Shiong said in a statement.

Precision Biologics will meld this library with the diagnostic and immunotherapy work being done at NantWorks and NantOmics.

It actually completed Phase 2a trials recently for its lead therapeutic antibody candidate, and is in the midst of enrolling patients for a multi-center, randomized Phase 2b trial.