The Achievements that Clay Siegall Hopes to Make with Seattle Genetics

Seattle Genetics is a biotechnology company that was established by Clay Siegall in 1998. Clay started the business because he wanted to revolutionize the research that had been carried out on cancer and get better treatments for the menace. Clay has for a long time believed that most of the deaths that occur in connection with cancer are not because of the tumors themselves, but because of the harshness of the treatment methods used. He has always wanted to advance research in ADCs, Antibody-Based Cancer Therapies, something that he has managed to do. His first ADC drug, Adcetris, was approved for use by the FDA two years ago.

Clay Siegall witnessed his close relative struggle with cancer when he was a teenager. After five long and agonizing years of therapy, the person succumbed. What made the case peculiar to him was the fact that it wasn’t cancer that killed the patient, but the weakness which resulted from the use of chemotherapy and radiotherapy in trying to deal with the tumor. The experience solidified his resolve to learn everything he needed to know about Biotechnology and the manufacture of ADCs. He attended the Washington State University and got a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology. It was followed by graduate studies and a Ph.D. in genetics. He worked for some research organizations dealing with cancer, including the National Cancer Institute.

He started Seattle Genetics with limited resources, but Clay states that he was confident it was the right time for the idea. When he started out, he just had a handful of employees and even then, making enough to pay them was a challenge. Clay has however perfected the art of lobbying for support for his clinic and through ADC partnerships, public and private fundraising campaigns; he has managed to achieve financial stability for Seattle Genetics. The company’s first IPO was held in 2001, and the company has been listed under the name of SGEN on NASDAQ.

When asked what the way forward was after the FDA approval and the massive success, Clay Siegall rules out the possibility of selling out to the big pharmaceuticals. He states that Seattle Genetics has some other ADC therapies that they are working on, and he is interested in ensuring that all of them get a nod from the FDA. He added that despite the challenges that they face faced, the company was happy about the positive change they were making in the world of medical research.

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