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Clay Siegall: From Biotech to Big Pharma

These days, Seattle’s most prominent biotech company, Seattle Genetics, is making its case to be the next great pharmaceutical company. Sitting in a nondescript building, one wouldn’t expect those walls to hold some of the latest technology regarding biotechnology. At the foundation of Seattle Genetics is the study of human antibodies, which under the watchful eye of Clay Siegall, the Founder, President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, have been scientifically manipulated to attack and destroy cancer cells. This strategy, employed Seattle Genetics, is one that could potentially take the company to the next level. Already the foremost genetics company in Washington state, the company co-founded by Mr. Siegall, is what many hope will become the linchpin that will help the biotechnology industry the cycle of continued peaks and valleys that it has seen in recent times.

Today, Seattle Genetics wields substantial market value, currently estimated at upwards of $10 billion, with 900 employees already on the roster, and a goal of adding an additional 200 next year. There are only a few biotechnology companies that make the leap to big pharma, and with ambitions to do so that are truly promising, Seattle Genetics has invested a considerable amount of their resources to research and marketing. Their flagship drug, Adcetris, is aimed at treating Hodgkin Lymphoma, and according to recent tests, could be just the product to help the company achieve its lofty goal. Clay Siegall characterizes Seattle Genetics as an emerging global oncology company and cites their successful resume as evidence of their continued dedication to achieve greatness, rather than sell to a larger company. This new stance is a far cry from their initial direction, as they initially sold their international commercial rights to Takeda Oncology, which in turn was used to raise capital to develop their most promising drugs; Adcetris. While many have cited its incredible potential, it is not yet considered a gamechanger, but could be well on its way.

Clay Siegall, the co-founder and current President, Chairman, and CEO of Seattle Genetics received his initial education from the University of Maryland and later continued at George Washington University, where he received his Ph.D. in Genetics. After working at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute from 1991 to 1997, he went on to start Seattle Genetics in 1998. Aside from his work at Seattle Genetics, he has also authored over 70 publications over the course of his career.

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