An Interview with Clay Siegall, CEO of Cancer Treatment Innovators Seattle Genetics

Dr. Clay Siegall is the CEO of biotech firm Seattle Genetics, which he led from a small start-up to a major player in the cancer research sphere. He strongly believes that traditional cancer treatments are set to be replaced by newer, more effective forms of treatment, and Seattle Genetics has become an innovator in the field of cancer therapy. Dr. Siegall recently sat down for an interview with Inspirery to discuss his career, the future of cancer treatment and the methods that help him succeed.

Clay Siegall was first asked how he became involved in the field of cancer research and treatment. He explained that while he was studying zoology, a family member developed cancer. Traditional treatments led to a plethora of adverse health effects, and Clay found himself wishing that there were safer and more effective forms of treatment, which led him to the field of cancer research.

He was also asked about how Seattle Genetics makes money and how long it took the company to become profitable. Dr. Siegall listed ADCetris, an antibody drug they developed to treat cancer, as a major source of income, and the company also earns money from the licensing of treatment methods that they’ve created. However, he told Inspirery that it took about 10 years for Seattle Genetics to become profitable.

As for what keeps the company successful, Clay credits the company’s sales staff and legal team with helping Seattle Genetics to secure deals that tend to run seven or eight figures. Personally, Dr. Siegall believes that hard work has been the single biggest key to his success. While education and natural intelligence count for something, he thinks that work ethic is most important.

Clay Siegall co-founded Seattle Genetics in 1998, and the company has successfully created a variety of antibody cancer therapies that have been approved by the FDA. He graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.S. in Zoology, and also received his PhD in Genetics from George Washington University.

Aside from serving as the CEO, Dr. Siegall has also helped Seattle Genetics secure private and public financing to fund their research and the development of new treatments. Clay Siegall previously worked at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute and the National Cancer Institute, and he also serves on Alder BioPharmaceuticals’ Board of Directors. Dr. Siegall has authored or co-authored over 70 publications and holds 15 patents.