Category Archives: Cancer Research

How Clay Siegall Prepared To Start His Own Biotechnology Firm

After having worked in the public and private sector for several years Clay Siegall, Ph.D., co-founded his own biotechnology company. This company is Seattle Genetics which focuses on developing targeted cancer therapies. It is founded on being innovative, doing rigorous research, high-quality drug development practices, and being passionate about helping cancer patients recover from their illness. In 2011 his company had Adcetris approved for use by the FDA. Clay Siegall signed a partnership with Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and, as a result, Adcetris has now been approved for use in over 65 nations.

After earning his Ph.D., Clay Siegall worked for the National Cancer Institute in Washington D.C. for three years. He then spent six years working for Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute. During his time at this company, he studied how to run a business and so was well prepared when he launched his own. He is now the president, CEO, and chairman of Seattle Genetics.

There was one surprising thing Clay Siegall discovered after launching Seattle Genetics, though. He discovered that he really enjoyed hiring very intelligent people and helping them advance their professional careers. He had to that point been a scientist mostly focused on research so this aspect of being a CEO wasn’t something he was suspecting. He always thought he would become a professor or academic scientist, not an entrepreneur.

As the top executive at Seattle Genetics, he has been largely responsible for this company becoming the largest biotechnology firm in the northwestern part of the nation. His leadership in the industry has resulted in him being named to the board of directors of three other companies in that region. These are Ultragenyx Pharmaceuticals, Alder Biopharmaceuticals, and Mirna Therapeutics. He was also named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012 by the Pacific Northwest chapter of Ernst & Young. Another honor he received was being named as the Alumnus of the Year for Computer, Math, and Natural Sciences by the university he earned his bachelor’s degree at, the University of Maryland.