The Journey to Success in ADC Therapy- Seattle Genetics’ Clay Siegall

Events that happen to us when we are young do a lot to shape our future. When Dr. Clay Siegall was a teenager, his father was diagnosed with cancer. He watched his father struggle so much with the sickness that when he finally passed away, he has already realized that he needed to do something about the Harshness of the cancer therapies used at the time. Clay attended college at the University of Maryland and attained a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology. He then proceeded to the George Washington University and acquired his Ph.D. in genetics. After he graduated, he worked for some companies such as The National Cancer Institute and Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals.

Clay always knew that he wanted to establish his own company which would be a platform to advance his research in cancer therapies. He combined efforts with a friend, and together they founded Seattle Genetics in 1998. Clay says that he knew they needed a solid philosophy that the company would operate under. They decided that their primary focus would be helping their patients. They also wanted to emphasize intensive research and scientific innovation. The efforts the company had put in these three areas paid off handsomely when their first ADC drug, ADCETRIS, was approved for use by the FDA in 2011. The company has since marketed the drug in more than 65 countries, and they have plans to expand even further.

When asked whether Seattle Genetics has any plans of selling out, Clay says that he had held on to the company, and believed in it even when the funds were insufficient. He did both public and private fundraising for the future of the enterprise. Siegall says that now that they have made it to an internationally recognized brand, he is not willing to sell out. He added that the company’s primary goal was to help their patients, which had nothing to do with money, adding that in the absence of money, they have been able to give their best service to humanity. Clay is a real inspiration in the world of science and entrepreneurship.