How Dr. Clay Seigall Developed His Passion For Curing Cancer

It was in 1998 that Clay Seigall, Ph.D., co-founded Seattle Genetics, Inc. in Bothell, Washington, He has served ever since as the company’s President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board. He has spent his career researching targeted cancer therapies, especially antibody-drug conjugates. His company focuses on research and scientific innovation that is meant to help patients around the world be cured of various forms of cancer. His biggest success to date was FDA approval of the drug Adcetris. Approved in 2011, through a partnership with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Adcetris is now approved for use in over 65 countries. Seattle Genetics has several other cancer drugs in various stages of development and continues to research Adcetris as it shows promise curing more types of cancer than lymphoma for which it was approved.

As the top manager at Seattle Genetics, Dr. Seigall plays an instrumental part in creating partnerships with other biotechnology companies. He has created strategic licensing arrangements with industry giants such as Roche, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, and AbbVie. He has also been highly successful raising capital for his company, obtaining over $1.2 billion from both public and private investors.

Dr. Clay Seigall developed his passion for helping cancer patients watching his father get cancer when Dr. Seigall was 19 and his father dying of the disease when Dr. Siegall was 24. The drugs in use at the time, in the early 80’s, were very limited in value. After this terrible event in his life, he attended George Washington University and earned his doctorate in genetics. He ended up in the Seattle area when he worked for Bristol-Myers Squibb which has their Pharmaceutical Research Institute located there. Prior to this, he had been working at the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health for four years in research and development.

A humorous but true statement that Dr. Clay Seigall likes to make is that when a person is in their 20’s they think they know everything there is to know. In a person’s 30’s they come to realize they actually don’t. By their 40’s they realize they don’t know much about anything. This is why he continues to learn and grow as a person and professional.