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Patrick Soon-Shiong

Drug firms team up on cancer trials

Drug firms team up on cancer trials

A handful of pharmaceutical companies, including local biotech giant Amgen, are joining together to test cocktails of their latest cancer drugs in an ambitious initiative aimed at rapidly developing new treatments — but one that's gotten off to a shaky start.

Cancer MoonShot 2020 was announced Monday by Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, a billionaire Los Angeles oncologist who is spearheading the program, at a healthcare investor conference in San Francisco.

It calls for conducting dozens of small-scale clinical trials with as many as 20,000 patients over the next three years, followed by larger-scale trials. Its focus is the emerging field of immunotherapy, which seeks to use...