Today, Dr. Clay Siegall is the head of Seattle Genetics, a biotech firm he founded. The company has a special focus, seeking to develop targeted therapy drugs that treat diseases with no known cure. The illnesses Siegall’s company seeks to treat are those that haven’t seen a decrease in mortality rates in the recent past. Specifically, these treatments target diseases like cancer, which is one illness with which Clay Siegall has some personal experience.
Clay Siegall Says Cancer Fueled His Interest in Biotech
When asked what first drew him to the biotech industry, Clay hinted that this was a loaded question. Upon thought, however, he admitted he had always intrigued by medicine and how technology can be adapted to treat illness. He adds that he’s been especially interested, where technology and medication have been used together to treat conditions that might otherwise have been fatal.
Dr. Siegall added that he developed an even greater interest in biotech, while studying zoology at the University of Maryland. That was when a close family member was diagnosed with cancer. Though Clay doesn’t give specifics about the situation, he does share that he was put off by witnessing the “brutal” treatment regiment. He says the individual nearly died, as a result of contracting anemia. That secondary condition was instigated by the chemotherapy, not by the cancer.
That’s when Dr. Siegall dedicated himself to finding a better way to treat these kinds if illnesses. He didn’t want to see people have limbs amputated or go through excruciating treatments in a hope of recovery. For Clay, biotech seemed to hold a better answer.
After college, Dr. Siegall pursued his interest in biotech full-time. He started Seattle Genetics in 1998. One of the firm’s greatest achievements has been the development of an antibody drug conjugate, approved by the F.D.A. That drug has been applied to the treatment of several diseases, proving its worth time and again. Siegall’s firm has also partnered with major companies, like Bayer, Genentech, and Pfizer, to develop a long list of medications.