At the world headquarters of Seattle Genetics, co-founder and CEO Clay Siegall is intent on building a large, global biotech firm. Already Washington’s the largest biotech firm, Seattle Genetics is starting to market their newest drugs internationally, opening an office in Switzerland. With their first drug, Adcetris, Seattle Genetics partnered with Takeda Oncology, giving them the right to sell Adcetris internationally, while Seattle Genetics sold the drug in the United States and Canada. Siegall is also looking to acquire the rights to new drugs and market them internationally. While Seattle Genetics was established 18 years ago and has a market value of almost $10 billion, the company is not profitable yet. It is common for biotech companies not to turn a profit for many years; Siegall prefers to plow money into research.
Siegall is also the president of Seattle Genetics, in addition to serving as CEO. He oversees the development of antibody-based cancer therapies that deliver drugs that target cancer cells, leaving healthy cells alone. Siegall’s strategy mimics that of Art Levinson, co-founder Genentech, who never let his company depend on one or two different drugs. Seattle Genetics has 11 new drugs in its pipeline.
Siegall guided the company through strategic collaborations and the initial public offering, raising more than $330 million in capital. While Siegall guides Seattle Genetics’ capital raising activities, he is a scientist first, with a real interest in helping cancer patients. In 2012, Pacific Northwest Ernst & Young awarded Siegall the Entrepreneur of the Year award and in 2016; the University of Maryland recognized Siegall’s accomplishments with the Alumnus of the Year for Computer, Math and Natural Sciences award.
Siegall’s extensive experience after graduating with a Ph.D. in Genetics includes cancer research conducted at National Cancer Institute and drug development at Bristol-Myers Squibb, which is what brought him to Seattle. Siegall stayed after Bristol-Myers Squibb left.