Our Founder

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong

ImmunityBio’s Executive Chairman and Global Chief Scientific and Medical Officer Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong has always believed that “everything is possible if you work hard and set your mind to it.” As a student in his native South Africa, Dr. Soon-Shiong became intensely curious about the advances that were enabling biologists to understand the inner workings of the human body. He became fascinated with the idea that one day it might be possible to understand the human body at the genomic, proteomic level and use that knowledge to develop ways to enhance the body’s own ability to protect itself from disease and heal.

Everything is possible if you work hard and set your mind to it.

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong
Executive Chairman and Global Chief Scientific and Medical Officer at ImmunityBio

That fascination led him on the path to a distinguished career as a surgeon, scientist, inventor, and philanthropist with over 500 issued worldwide patents and 100 scientific publications. In 2001, Dr. Soon-Shiong founded American Pharmaceutical Partners (APP), and in 2005 the FDA approved his invention Abraxane, the nation’s first protein nanoparticle chemotherapy, for breast, lung, and pancreatic cancer. Abraxane has achieved over a billion dollars in annual global sales and has been placed in the medical history collections at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

In 2011, Dr. Soon-Shiong founded ImmunityBio’s parent company, NantWorks, an ecosystem of companies involved in a wide variety of complex industries, including medical science and biomaterials. His scientific focus has remained the search for mechanisms to activate the immune system to attack tumors that have evaded the body’s natural defense mechanisms.

By founding ImmunityBio in 2014, Dr. Soon-Shiong signaled his intent to direct his focus to the creation of innovative immunotherapies that address serious unmet needs in oncology and infectious disease. His goal remains the one that fascinated him as a youth: To recruit the body’s own natural defenses to eradicate life-threatening disease and bring hope and a better quality of life to people everywhere.

In keeping with his global heritage and the resources of his work in America, in 2021 Dr. Soon-Shiong established NantAfrica, Nant South Africa (NantSA), and Nant Botswana (NantBW) to establish a coalition of organizations for the acceleration of advance health in Africa with the goal of manufacturing a billion doses of vaccines in South Africa by 2025. In 2022, he supported the launch of the non-profit organization, Access to Advanced Health Institute, AAHI, to continue the ground-breaking research of the former IDRI institute.