Dr. Clay Seigall’s Answers Why He Founded Seattle Genetics

Seattle Genetics, Inc. is a pharmaceutical company headquartered near Seattle, Washington. It focuses on developing targeted therapies for diseases that current drugs are not effectively treating. It was founded by Dr. Clay Seigall in 1998 and he serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. His leadership has brought Seattle Genetics to the forefront of the targeted therapy industry.

The main type of drugs that Dr. Clay Seigall focuses on is antibody-drug conjugates which can destroy diseased cells while not having the side effects like current drugs of also destroying healthy cells as well. He created the first antibody-drug conjugate to receive FDA approval which was a drug that helps cure people of lymphoma. Additionally, Seattle Genetics have over 20 other drugs in the pipeline in various stages of research.

When talking about why he founded Seattle Genetics, Dr. Seigall boils it down to three reasons. The first was that he developed a passion for curing disease early in life, especially when his father died of cancer while Dr. Seigall was at a young age. His next reason was that at his prior positions, including as a Senior Researcher at Bristol-Myers Squibb, he felt constricted by the company in what he could do and research. Thirdly, he said that he resented that his patents and the profits that the company made off of them didn’t make him any money outside of what they regularly paid him. He decided to found his own company so that he could fairly profit from his work and have the latitude to effectively perform his work.

Beyond Seattle Genetics, Dr. Clay Seigall very good reputation has led to him being named to the boards of other pharmaceutical companies. He sits on the Board of Directors for Ultragenyx which creates cures for metabolic genetic diseases. He is also on the board of Mirna Therapeutics which creates microRNA therapeutics. Alder BioPharmaceuticals, which researches therapeutic antibodies, is another company that he is on the board of. Dr. Clay Seigall attended George Washington University and graduated with a Ph.D. in Genetics.