Under Clay Siegall’s direction, Seattle Genetics develops dozens of drugs

Clay Siegall has made a name for himself as one of the premier cancer researchers in the country today. After having a stellar career as a cancer researcher, first at the National Cancer Institute than at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Dr. Siegall finally decided to branch out on his own. In 1998, he formed Seattle Genetics, the first biopharmaceutical company with its mission being to focus solely on the development of a class of drugs known as antibody drug conjugates, a form of targeted cancer therapy that allows for the delivery of highly lethal cytotoxins directly to tumor sites, through the use of synthetic human antibodies.

But Dr. Clay Siegall is proving to be almost as talented a CEO as he is a cancer researcher. Since 1998, Dr. Siegall has been the acting CEO of his firm. Under his leadership, it has been able to diversify its revenue streams into dozens of individual drugs, licensing schemes and patented processes, by which it has ensured that it will be able to weather any economic storm thrown its way.

But the firm has also been able to score one of the greatest coups of recent history in the biopharmaceutical space. In 2011, Seattle Genetics was able to get FDA approval for its first antibody drug conjugate marketed to the general public, ADCetris. Not only does this mark the firm’s first FDA-approved drug, it also is the first antibody drug conjugate ever to be approved by that agency, marking a significant milestone in the development of an exciting new class of targeted cancer therapy that has promised to eventually reduce cancer to little more than a chronic illness.

But Dr. Siegall has also focused in on licensing many of his firm’s patented processes to other biotech companies interested in producing their own antibody drug conjugates. One of the patented processes that Dr. Siegall has personally developed and is now generating tens of millions of dollars in revenue for the firm is his own patented means of producing monoclonal antibodies, through the use of injecting mice with malignant tissues. This ingenious process forms the backbone of the monoclonal antibody creation process, an element that is crucial to the development of antibody drug conjugates.