Reporter Matthew Herper believes "this is biology's century" -- it says so right on his Forbes profile--so he's not a doubter. And few journalists are more familiar with the world's richest doctor, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, who was just profiled on CBS's 60 Minutes as something of a Steve Jobs of cancer cures. (Herper wrote a Forbes cover story on Soon-Shiong in September.) But as much as Herper is a believer in the ultimate triumph of science over disease, he isn't sure 60 Minutes gave enough caveats as it presented Soon-Shiong's specific story.
Herper wants people to remember that Dr. Soon-Shiong is the CEO of a multibillion dollar medical research operation under the name NantWorks, which isn't shy about saying misleading things. Herper also points out that publicity for Soon-Shiang's solutions--many of which remain unproven--is pushing his company's valuation into the stratosphere. (That probably includes Herper's own cover story.) Indeed, just last week Soon-Shiong told people that NantWorks was planning an IPO for 2015. He has major investors behind him--from BlackRock to Blackberry--to satisfy. Herper is no pessimist. He writes: "I looked long and hard at Soon-Shiong’s efforts, and I came away optimistic that something real might come out of them." That "something real" is awfully close to that "might"--don't you think? But best to hope for the best, like Herper. He's selling to a market that just can't wait.
Bill Clinton and Patrick Soon-Shiong in conversation:
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