The events which characterize our early years determine who we will be when we grow up. For Clay Siegall, watching his Dad battle with cancer and finally succumb was what inspired him to study genetics. Clay Siegall was mostly intrigued by the fact that it was not the cancer itself that undid his Dad, but the way in which the chemotherapy took a toll on his body. He attended the Washington State University where he studied Zoology. Then, he later advanced his education and got a PhD in genetics. In 1998, he collaborated with a friend to start Seattle Genetics. For the past two decades, the company has been looking for treatments and alternative therapies to deal with cancer. Seattle Genetics was listed on NASDAQ in 2001, and has been open for public investment since then.’
Clay Siegall states that getting to where the company is hasn’t been easy. He confides that there was a time things were so bad that they could even end the month without knowing how they were going to pay their employees. He adds that it takes a lot of resilience and thinking out of the box to support a company like his to the level it has reached. He has always been in charge of the fundraising efforts made by the company, including the ADC partnerships that Seattle Genetics has entered into with companies like Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline. The public and private fundraising efforts that Clay has conducted have helped the company expand to their current level.
When asked what he plans for the company in the future and whether he was open to the idea of selling out, Clay Siegall stated that selling out to big pharmaceuticals was the last thing on his mind. He added that the only thing that they are planning for their future was ensuring that the company expanded their capacity so as to manage their plan to get another 11 ADC therapy drugs approved by the FDA. Their first drug, ADCETRIS was approved by the FDA in 2015 and has been endorsed for use in more than 66 countries. In the first year that the drug was approved they made more than $250,000 in sales and the bottom line has been expanding steadily since then.
There was a time when Seattle Genetics was in a sales partnership with Takeda Pharmaceuticals, which helped them market their drug in Canada and beyond. The sky is the limit for this company.