Category: ADCetris

Clay Siegall founds Seattle Genetics, takes target therapies to new heights

One of the most important developments over the last 20 years in the cancer research industry has been in the area of targeted cancer therapies. Many new drugs began coming on the scene in the early 1990s that showed huge promise in the ability to administer highly effective anti-cancer treatments without the terrible side effects that had normally been associated with chemotherapy regimens.

Of all the new targeted cancer therapies that have been produced over the last 20 years, the most important could arguably be the category known as antibody drug conjugates. Created by Clay Siegall, a senior researcher with Bristol-Myers Squibb who would later go on to found Seattle Genetics, one of the most important biotech startups of the last 20 years, antibody drug conjugates have proven to be one of the most effective cancer treatments ever devised.

This exciting new class of drugs is now being used to treat a variety of specific types of cancers. In cancer types for which it has been approved, the company’s first drug, ADCetris, has proven to be enormously promising, almost totally eliminating the side effects of that would normally be associated with chemotherapy and allow for vastly higher and more effective dosages to be safely administered to patients suffering from the diseases for which the drug has been approved.

As both the founder and CEO of Seattle Genetics, Dr. Clay Siegall has been instrumental in the company’s rise to success, personally overseeing the creation of ADCetris as well as other antibody drug conjugates. Under Dr. Siegall’s leadership, the company has created a robust pipeline of new drugs being researched and developed. Currently, the company has more than 15 drugs in its development pipeline and dozens more that are currently being research in the beginning stages.

In addition to that, Seattle Genetics has been able to create a vast portfolio of intellectual property, which it is able to lease out to other companies in order that they make create their own antibody drug conjugate drugs.

The most important contribution that Dr. Siegall has made to the cancer research field has been the real lives that have been saved through the use of antibody drug conjugates.


Dr. Clay Siegall: The Effects Money Has On Medical Progression

Dr. Clay Siegall noticed how problematic finance is in medical companies. It’s unfortunate that too many companies focus on profits more than creating effective medicine. Dr. Clay Siegall founded Seattle Genetics to resolve that problem. While money is a factor, he never allows it to take center stage.

Dr. Siegall first encountered this problem while working at Bristol. He joined the medical field with the sole purpose of developing more effective drugs. The ownership at Bristol, however, focused him on created greater profits. Everything he accomplished added up to more kickbacks for the boys upstairs.

The company limited his work. He didn’t have the latitude or respected he wanted. His projects weren’t under his full control, meaning someone else could alter it if they wanted; and he was a senior researcher. He also had patents that earned the company millions of dollars and he didn’t see a cent more than his normal paycheck.

Fed up with the disrespect and mistreatment, he Seattle Genetics. Now, his company works on projects that he’s wanted to work on for years. They’ve developed numerous drugs and pipeline drugs since its founding in 1998. They even developed the first FDA-approved antibody drug conjugate.

If though he now works on what he wants to work on, money is still a factor. Obviously, the company sells their proprietary drugs. ADCetris, the first FDA-approved ADC, is exclusively theirs for the next few years. That drug and its many indications generate a good part of their profits.

The company also has production partnerships with other companies. And their licensing of technologies and processes is another revenue stream. What many people don’t understand about the drug industry is that it takes a lot of time and money.

Financial success in the drug industry isn’t as big-time as other companies make it seem. One in ten candidate drugs gets approved and the drug makers have to pay the entire bill no matter what. In actuality, it took Seattle Genetics ten years to become profitable.