Understanding the Driving Force behind Seattle Genetics’ Massive Success-An interview with Dr. Clay Siegall

Dr. Clay Siegall founded Seattle genetics in 1998. When he started the company, he had the dream of pushing the traditional systemic therapies used to treat cancer, such as chemotherapy, to the dustbin. He got the inspiration to try ADCs after watching his father struggle with cancer for five years and later succumbing. He has already gotten an FDA nod for ADCETRIS, and antibody-based drug conjugate, which is the first of its kind. He is hoping that the other 20 ADCs that are in the pipeline will also get approval. Here, are a few of the things you need to know about Clay Siegall and Seattle Genetics.

Clay Siegall studied at the University of Maryland. He attained a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology. He then proceeded to the George Washington University where he acquired his Ph.D. in genetics. He worked for some pharmaceuticals before he quit and started Seattle Genetics. Clay fully understands the value of hard work, resilience, and determination. He has been struggling with the company to get funding, and at times, he admits that he did not even have enough to fund the next phase in this project.

He has made countless efforts to raise money for his company. One of the strategies that he put in place was the strategic licensing agreements that he entered into with companies such as Pfizer, Genentech, and GlaxoSmithKline. These arrangements have made it possible for Seattle Genetics to get over $350 million. In 2001, the company had its first initial public offer; it is still listed on NASDAQ as SGEN. These are all efforts of Clay Siegall. Clay states that one of the things he has learned is that if you want to be successful in entrepreneurship, you have to keep learning new things. He also says that one of the best driving forces that a person can have when dealing with scientific research is the motivation to help humanity.

Clay says that the future looks bright for Seattle Genetics. They have already expanded their capacity to complete their tests on the other 20 ADCs. He adds that they are here to stay and that selling out is not an option.

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