Two years ago, tech entrepreneur Larry Ellison and prominent cancer researcher Dr. David Agus announced the launch of Sensei, the AgTech company they co-founded that encompasses both sustainable farming and retreat elements. With offices in Santa Monica, Calif. and Lanai City, Hawaii, it’s perhaps no surprise that Agus, long based in Beverly Hills, has now moved closer to Sensei’s pulse by purchasing a $19.8 million estate on a quiet Santa Monica cul-de-sac.
Although the deal is one of the biggest to close on L.A.’s Westside so far this year, the strikingly contemporary house was never offered on the public market. Instead, the place was shopped around as a so-called pocket listing, though marketing efforts and word-of-mouth were likely aided by the home itself, which was designed by Marmol Radziner, one of the city’s most in-demand architectural design firms.
Clad in sand-colored concrete blocks matched with an organic fusion of exposed wood and glass, the three-level structure packs five bedrooms and eight baths into more than 12,000 square feet of living space. As expected, the residence includes “the highest quality materials imaginable,” per digital marketing notes, including a “teak ensconced” sitting room upstairs.
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On the main level, radiant heated floors and an abundance of exotic woods and stonework up the ambiance, while numerous pocket doors create a seamless indoor/outdoor flow. An elevator ferries homeowners to the more private upper level, where all five of the abode’s bedrooms are located, all of them with ensuite baths. A convenient upstairs gym contains state-of-the-art finishes.
The home’s lower level is wholly dedicated to playtime for the kiddies and adult kids, too, with a golf simulator area, basketball hoop, media center, and a spacious wine cellar. Other estate amenities include garaging for four automobiles, a park-like backyard that’s perfectly private, surrounded by mature eucalyptus and olive trees, and a professional outdoor kitchen. An outdoor living room overlooks the dark-bottomed swimming pool and spa.
Though he’s perhaps best-known to the general public as a prolific TV/podcast pundit through his many appearances everywhere from CBS News to “The Howard Stern Show,” Agus is primarily an accomplished physician and cancer researcher who has served as the go-to medical specialist for numerous high-profile individuals, including Steve Jobs, Brad Grey, and Sumner Redstone.
It was through the loss of mutual friend Jobs that Agus and Ellison first grew close, and their friendship spurred Ellison’s $200 million donation to establish the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine of USC, a center overseen by Agus since its inception.
Agus is also New York Times-bestselling author and a tenured professor at USC’s Keck School of Medicine. And he’s a seasoned entrepreneur himself — in 2006, he founded genetic testing firm Navigenics, which was acquired by biotech company Life Technologies in 2012.
With his longtime wife Amy Povich-Agus, the daughter of nationally syndicated TV stalwart Maury Povich, Agus still owns his Beverly Hills “starter home,” a one-acre property in the Coldwater Canyon neighborhood that was acquired way back in 2006 for about $6.8 million. That house, a sprawling ranch-style structure with more than 5,200 square feet of living space, isn’t currently on the market, though it seems likely that situation will soon change.