Dr. Clay Siegall, Founder and CEO of Seattle Genetics

Dr. Clay Siegall is the CEO and founder of Seattle Genetics, a biotech firm that develops target drugs for cancer and other diseases that still have a high death rate. Since its beginnings in 1998, Dr. Siegall has helped Seattle Genetics become one of the premiere targeted therapy drug developers. To date, Seattle Genetics created the first FDA-approved antibody drug conjugate. They also have forged partnerships with drug manufacturers like Bayer, Pfizer and Genentech and produced at least 20 drugs that will soon be released.

It took ten years for Seattle Genetics to become profitable. In fact many times in 1999 and 2000, they came close to having to close their doors. In 2000, they decided to add some expert sales people to their staff. That coupled with the development of effective drugs led them to being a profitable company. Their first approved drug, ADCetris, approved for three applications will be exclusively Seattle Genetics for at least eleven years. Because the cost of developing drugs and getting them approved is so costly, Seattle Genetics has other sources of income. They also license technologies and partner with other drug companies manufacturing their production.

Dr. Siegall believes the traits of a successful entrepreneur are available for most people to access within themselves, if they have a great work ethic. Hard work is the difference between success or failure. The old standbys I.Q., what exclusive institution you graduated from or who you know are not the key to success. It’s applying a hard work ethic to everything you do.

Dr. Clay Siegall is not only the founder and CEO of Seattle Genetics; he also holds several other positions. He is an independent director for Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that produces drugs that fight rare diseases. He also serves on the board of directors for Alder BioPharmaceuticals, Inc. and Mirna Therapeutics, Inc., privately-held biothechnology companies.

Dr. Siegall gained his work experience from Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute from 1991-1997 and National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health from 1998-1991. He was educated at the University of Maryland where he gained his B.S. degree in Zoology and at George Washington University where he obtained his Ph.D. in Genetics.