Patrick Soon-Shiong, the CEO of cancer research firm NantKwest, took in $147.6 million in compensation in 2015, Bloomberg reports. It adds that his net worth is estimated to be $9.8 billion.
NantKwest focuses on leveraging the human immune system, particularly natural killer cells, to treat cancer and other diseases, Bloomberg says. Stat News notes that NantKwest is comprised of a number interrelated companies, including ones drawing on patients' DNA to develop personalized treatments. Soon-Shiong also recently announced his own cancer moonshot project focusing on immunotherapies that's separate from the government initiative, it adds.
Soon-Shiong's compensation stands out from that of other executives in the field, according to Stat News, as, in 2014, the CEOs of Allergan, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Vertex all made less that $40 million. But Soon-Shiong's compensation also isn't guaranteed as much of it comes as stock — and NantKwest's stock has fallen from $35 a share after its IPO last summer to $9 a share this week, it adds.
Bloomberg also reports that a class action lawsuit was filed against NantKwest in March, alleging that the company misled its investors by not disclosing errors associated with some of Soon-Shiong's stock-based awards. The company has said in a filing that it would "vigorously defend these proceedings."