STAT pokes holes in Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong's Cancer Moonshot

The Cancer MoonShot 2020 initiative launched by biotech billionaire physician Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, may not be all its cracked up to be, according to a report by STAT.

STAT reviewed hours of video, poured over scientific presentations and consulted a number of scientists and found the initiative has made "very little scientific progress" and likened it to an "elaborate marketing tool."

The Cancer MoonShot 2020, recently renamed Cancer Breakthroughs 2020, was launched last year, shortly after former Vice President Joe Biden launched the White House's unrelated initiative of a similar name, Cancer Moonshot.

Dr. Soon-Shiong's Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 may be falling short in several ways, according to STAT's investigation. It appears to be a promotional tool for a cancer diagnostic product called GPS Cancer, according the report. This tool is sold by a company owned by Dr. Soon-Shiong and the initiative has been paying researchers to use it, STAT claims. The moonshot has also advertised partnerships with companies like Pfizer and Merck KGaA, though those companies have been unable to verify their involvement. And the moonshot also attributes progress in 23 clinical trials to its success in its first year, despite that 13 of those trials predate the initiative, according to the report.  

"When you look closely, Soon-Shiong's moonshot initiative looks less like a diverse coalition than a roll call of his tangled web of business interests," STAT's Rebecca Robins wrote.

Read the full story here.


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