Making Progress in Cancer Therapies-The Story of Clay Siegall

For the longest time, everyone has believed that the only way to combat cancer was through radiotherapy and chemotherapy. However, it is now emerging that it is possible to get better treatment outcomes by using advanced antibody-drug conjugates which deliver cancer-killing agents directly to the tumor cells. One of the antibody conjugates which have been developed by Seattle Genetics is ADCETRIS. The drug was approved for use by the FDA and has become popular in the treatment of relapsed Hodgkin lymphoma. The drug has so far been endorsed for use in more than 65countries.

Clay Siegall is the founder and CEO of Seattle Genetics, a Seattle based Clinical Trials Company. He has been working on getting better therapies to deal with cancer for the past two decades. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. in genetics from the University of Washington. He says that in addition to the FDA approved ADC; the clinical trials company is working towards the creation of other innovative therapies which will treat blood cancers and solid tumors.

The primary goal of their research is to improve the treatment outcomes in their patients. Clay says that at an early age, he watched a close person to him fight cancer, and the saddest part was that the medication seemed to have been tougher on his body than the tumors themselves. The past two decades have not been easy for Clay and his company. He confesses that there were times when they didn’t have funds to provide basics such as worker salaries. However, he has been very active in both private and public fundraising. He was in charge of the IPO which led to the company being listed on NASDAQ as SGEN.

Clay states that contrary to popular belief and practices, his company is not planning to sell off to big pharmaceuticals as it happens when the small biotech companies start making progress in their research. He confided that they were expanding their facilities because they were in Seattle to stay, and their goal was to provide efficient ADC technologies for many other cancer types.