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US court denies billionaire Soon-Shiong's motion to dismiss Sorrento litigation

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge denied NantPharma LLC and billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong's motion to stay or dismiss a fraud case filed by biotechnology company Sorrento Therapeutics Inc.

The Los Angeles Superior Court also granted Sorrento's motions to compel Soon-Shiong company NantCell's counterclaims to arbitration, the company said in a news release.

Soon-Shiong, chairman and CEO of NantWorks LLC, is the inventor of breast cancer drug Abraxane. NantPharma, a unit of NantWorks, bought experimental cancer drug Cynviloq from Sorrento in 2015 as part of a deal involving $90 million cash plus $1.2 billion in potential milestone payments.

In April, San Diego-based Sorrento company sued Soon-Shiong, who is also the owner of the Los Angeles Times, and his companies for alleged fraud and breach of contract by buying Cynviloq and halting its market development. Sorrento claimed the parties orchestrated to keep Cynviloq off the market to preserve Soon-Shiong's personal financial interest in another competing drug.