Inspirey recently published an interview with Dr. Clay Siegall, the co-founder of Seattle Genetics. The website is dedicated to publishing stories of entrepreneurs around the world. This article called, “Dr. Clay Siegall—CEO, Seattle Genetics”, does a deep dive into the inspiration of Seattle Genetics’ CEO and President. The biotech company specializes in drugs for targeted therapy that helps diseases like Hodgkin lymphoma and large cell lymphoma.
The company created the first FDA approved ADC, or an antibody drug conjugate, which combonies monoclonal antibodies with linker systems and cell-killing agents to treat cancer. The technology allows them to optimize each ADC to treat patients and improve their outcomes.
Dr. Clay Siegall was inspire to start the company after watching the harsh treatment of cancer when his father was diagnosed. Though he had begun a fascination with disease and the power of technology to intervene and restore health when he was studying zoology at the University of Maryland. However, it wasn’t until his father got sick that he decided the system needed to change. He received his Ph.D. from George Washington Unversity to study genetics and the impact on treatment. He realized that if the radical surgeries and brutal treatments of chemotherapy were the only options that cancer patients had, he needed to discover a better way.
He also wanted to see more profit than his paycheck from the patents of the drugs. He was a senior researcher at Bristol and did not have the autonomy he desired to follow his own projects. He became frustrated that the patents he created would generate $80 million, but he would only receive his paycheck. After starting his own company, he recognized that success was due to hard work and intense work habits rather than intellect.
Dr. Seagall graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in Zoology. However, soon his interest in genetics grew and he graduated from George Washington University with a Ph.D. in Genetics. He is currently the CEO and President of Seattle Genetics. He co-founded the company in 1998 to help create technology that would create a paradigm shift in cancer treatment. Currently the company has the leading ADC technology that uses antibody-based therapy. One such product is ADCETRIS, a medicine developed to help treat Hodgkin lymphoma and large cell lymphoma.