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Soon-Shiong's medical empire faces layoffs

Union-Tribune owner's anti-Covid 19 and cancer treatment progress slow

ImmunityBio assumed the $200 million state-subsidized plant's lease in August 2020, from Athenex, another biotech outfit.
ImmunityBio assumed the $200 million state-subsidized plant's lease in August 2020, from Athenex, another biotech outfit.

More unsettling news regarding hiring at Union-Tribune owner Patrick Soon-Shiong's array of business ventures, this time on the medical side.

The Buffalo News is reporting that Soon-Shiong's ImmunityBio, Inc. will lay off 38 workers on December 1 at its Dunkirk manufacturing plant in upstate New York, citing a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filing with the state.

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ImmunityBio assumed the $200 million state-subsidized plant's lease in August 2020, from Athenex, another biotech outfit, concluding the deal in February of this year.

According to the paper's October 6 account, "ImmunityBio must hire 450 employees at the Dunkirk facility within the first five years of operations and also must spend $1.52 billion on operational expenses during the initial 10-year lease term, which started a year ago. It's not off to the best start."

"It's unclear how many workers are left at the Dunkirk facility," the story adds.

"State records obtained by the Buffalo News showed the plant had about 72 full-time jobs as of Dec. 31, 2021, when Athenex still had the lease. When the deal closed in February, more than 50 Athenex employees joined ImmunityBio, which planned to hire more workers."

The current "Reason for Dislocation," per a notice posted online by the New York State Department of Labor, is "Economic."

Back on January 26 of this year, Soon-Shiong told an upstate New York audience on Zoom that the plant would be used for the development of treatment for an array of maladies.

"We’ve made the decision that you and your body have the immune system that we can activate,” he was quoted by the Jamestown, New York Post-Journal as saying.

“We can change the paradigm of cancer, change the paradigm of infectious diseases and really use what’s called fusion proteins, cell therapy and vaccines to treat both cancer and COVID, HIV and TB.”

"Our goal is to enable a billion doses of RNA and adjuvants to be produced out of this plant."

"When asked about a start date, he replied, 'Quite literally, we needed this yesterday, so we are moving very fast, as fast as we can.'"

In August, Bloomberg News reported that part of a plant owned by Soon-Shiong in Cape Town, South Africa was being offered for rent "after a plunge in demand" for the Covid-19 vaccine he was developing.

"One of the two buildings in the A-grade facility with modern offices and a warehouse is available for lease as the owners of the campus wait for 'their production requirements to scale up,' according to Shane Howe, Broll Property Group’s regional head of industrial broking. The plans are still in the design phase, and nothing is being produced yet, he said."

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ImmunityBio assumed the $200 million state-subsidized plant's lease in August 2020, from Athenex, another biotech outfit.
ImmunityBio assumed the $200 million state-subsidized plant's lease in August 2020, from Athenex, another biotech outfit.

More unsettling news regarding hiring at Union-Tribune owner Patrick Soon-Shiong's array of business ventures, this time on the medical side.

The Buffalo News is reporting that Soon-Shiong's ImmunityBio, Inc. will lay off 38 workers on December 1 at its Dunkirk manufacturing plant in upstate New York, citing a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification filing with the state.

Sponsored
Sponsored

ImmunityBio assumed the $200 million state-subsidized plant's lease in August 2020, from Athenex, another biotech outfit, concluding the deal in February of this year.

According to the paper's October 6 account, "ImmunityBio must hire 450 employees at the Dunkirk facility within the first five years of operations and also must spend $1.52 billion on operational expenses during the initial 10-year lease term, which started a year ago. It's not off to the best start."

"It's unclear how many workers are left at the Dunkirk facility," the story adds.

"State records obtained by the Buffalo News showed the plant had about 72 full-time jobs as of Dec. 31, 2021, when Athenex still had the lease. When the deal closed in February, more than 50 Athenex employees joined ImmunityBio, which planned to hire more workers."

The current "Reason for Dislocation," per a notice posted online by the New York State Department of Labor, is "Economic."

Back on January 26 of this year, Soon-Shiong told an upstate New York audience on Zoom that the plant would be used for the development of treatment for an array of maladies.

"We’ve made the decision that you and your body have the immune system that we can activate,” he was quoted by the Jamestown, New York Post-Journal as saying.

“We can change the paradigm of cancer, change the paradigm of infectious diseases and really use what’s called fusion proteins, cell therapy and vaccines to treat both cancer and COVID, HIV and TB.”

"Our goal is to enable a billion doses of RNA and adjuvants to be produced out of this plant."

"When asked about a start date, he replied, 'Quite literally, we needed this yesterday, so we are moving very fast, as fast as we can.'"

In August, Bloomberg News reported that part of a plant owned by Soon-Shiong in Cape Town, South Africa was being offered for rent "after a plunge in demand" for the Covid-19 vaccine he was developing.

"One of the two buildings in the A-grade facility with modern offices and a warehouse is available for lease as the owners of the campus wait for 'their production requirements to scale up,' according to Shane Howe, Broll Property Group’s regional head of industrial broking. The plans are still in the design phase, and nothing is being produced yet, he said."

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