After a few quite months in Silicon Beach, Patrick Soon-Shiong has unveiled a new joint venture which will launch a nationwide cancer genomics network to provide virtually instantaneous tumor genome analysis.

On Wednesday October 3 in Washington, DC NantHealth Chairman and Founder Patrick Soon-Shiong was joined by former-US Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, MD of the Bipartisan Policy Center and J. Michael McGinnis of the Institute of Medicine and Doctors Helping Doctors, to announce the successful real-time analysis of the largest collection of tumor genomes in the United States.

Dr. Soon­‐ Shiong said

“Doctors will finally be able to provide higher‐quality treatment in a dramatically more efficient, effective, and affordable manner. It currently takes approximately two months and tens of thousands of dollars to perform the sequencing and analysis of a single cancer patient’s genome. We can’t reduce the cost of care and improve outcomes in cancer if we don’t have the capability to know the right treatment for the right patient before treatment begins. We needed a national supercomputing infrastructure that brings genomic medicine into clinical practice. By placing supercomputers in the hands of physicians, that need is now a reality.”

Over the course of merely 69 hours, Soon-Shiong’s consortium of strategic partners successfully conducted a complete analysis of 6,017 cancer genomes from 3,022 patients with 19 different cancer types. That translates into 47 seconds per patient, a remarkable improvement on the current 8-10 weeks it typically takes to get one tumor sequenced today.

“With this patient­‐centered, fact­‐based approach to collecting and analyzing data, millions more patients will have a better chance of beating cancer,” Dr. Soon‐Shiong emphasized.

In collaboration with Blue Shield of California, the Chan Soon‐Shiong Institute for Advanced Health, the National LambdaRail, Doctors Helping Doctors, Verizon, Bank of America, AT&T, Intel, and Hewlett‐Packard, NantHealth has built a supercomputer­‐based high‐speed fiber network. Not only will it provide thousands of oncology practices with life‐saving information, but it will do so in an exponentially faster time.

I am very impressed by this initiative and find myself much less skeptical that Dr. Soon-Shiong will be able to successfully lead a disruptive digital health startup. My biggest criticism of Soon-Shiong in the past was his seeming desire to do everything himself, from funding to management.

This joint venture seems to indicate a new willingness to collaborate with organizations far more capable than his own in the digital technology realm. The press release also tipped us off to two more startups Soon-Shiong’s NantWorks has made strategic investments in, Eviti and Five3 Genomics.

“This revolution in healthcare is long overdue ­‐ converging 21st century medical science with 21st century technology,” Dr. Soon‐Shiong concluded.