Dr. Clay Siegall in a Personal Quest for Safer Cancer Therapies

Dr. Clay Siegall is motivated by a personal desire to find the cure for cancer. He watched his father suffer for seven years and eventually succumb to cancer. Watching his father’s suffering inspired him to find treatment for the disease. His priority was to attain relevant education. So he studied Zoology at Maryland University before attending George Washing University for a doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Genetics. As a culmination of his interest, he founded Seattle Genetics. The company is developing into being the leading cancer research center in the world.

During an interview with Inspirey, Dr. Siegall said that his interest in finding an alternative cure for cancer intensified when as a student at Maryland University he observed the brutality of chemotherapy. The contemporary treatments then besides chemotherapy were amputations and radical therapy. Dr. Clay Siegall saw the need to find safer and less painful alternatives. After amassing sufficient experience in the field, he decided to create his company where he can manage the projects in such a way that met his intended purpose.

Seattle Genetics developed ADCetris, which became the first antibody drug conjugate, ADC, to be approved by the FDA. It has earned the company a lot of revenue. Clay Siegall believes the drug will enjoy its monopoly status for a few more years. It takes a lot of financial risks investing in drug production; in fact, the company took ten years after the Initial Public Offer to become profitable. Therefore the research center has created other sources of revenue through production partnerships and licensing of the process and technologies they have developed.

Quality, marketing, negotiating and passion are four strategies that best explains the success of Seattle Genetics. Dr. Siegall explains that their products’ quality and uniqueness helps it, to a large extent, to sell itself. Nevertheless, the company still employs the most talented salespersons with a background in biotechnology and an extensive knowledge of the product. He points out that closing any luxurious deals requires a lot of negotiating and meetings. Passion is his driving force. It motivates him to focus and work towards his goal; finding effective alternative cancer therapies.


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