Mike Munter, founder of Inspirey, a website that publishes the stories of entrepreneurs all over the world, recently published an interview with Seattle Genetics co-founder, Dr. Clay Siegall. The Interview titled, “Dr. Clay Siegall—CEO, Seattle Genetics” discusses the leader in targeted drug treatment and his succeses.
Munter found that Siegall was inspired to go into business after recognizing how harsh the current cancer patient treatments were. The harsh surgeries and consequences of chemotherapy, which could drive patients into such dire states of anemia that they almost died, prompted Siegall to create Seattle Genetics. When he studied zoology at the University of Maryland, he became fascinated with the ability of technology to intervene and overcome disease. After watching his own father go through treatment, he decided he needed to create a paradigm shift away from systemic chemotherapy.
He also recognized that he needed more autonomy than what he had under Bristol. Despite being a senior researcher, he would not see the benefits of the patents, even when they gained more than $80 million in profit.
After that, he created Seattle Genetics, a biotech company dedicated to change cancer treatment with targeted drug therapy. They specialize in ADCs, or antibody drug conjugates, which target cells with monoclonal antibody and linker systems that integrate cell-killing agents. This cancer treatment is the first FDA approved ADC that is approved for three indications. Despite the risk of getting drugs FDA approved, which is an arduous and expensive process, Seattle Genetics was able to earn substantial revenues once their drug was approved.
Dr. Clay Seagall became increasingly interested in helping cancer patients after watching his father’s cancer progression when he was a young adult. He saw the limited treatment tools as his father was being treated and went back to school with the drive to improve the treatment. He graduated with a Ph.D. in genetics from George Washington University and quickly worked his way through esteemed companies like the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute. He co-founded Seattle Genetics in 1998 and is currently the President and CEO. The company seeks to improve cancer treatment with the use of ACDs, or antibody-drug conjugates. The advanced technology has been approved in 65 countries with the product ADCETRIS, a medicine used to treat large cell lymphoma.