Clay Siegall is a Seattle area businessman who works in the healthcare industry. Frustrated by having his patents profiting others instead of himself he co-founded a biotech firm called Seattle Genetics in 1988. He says that when he started this company it was run by just him and a few others. It was founded with the idea of innovation, performing rigorous research, and creating drug development practices that would result in cures for diseases being available for everyone. In particular, his company focuses on antibody-drug conjugates in order to create drugs that target diseased cells such as ones carrying melanoma, leukemia, and other types of cancer.
He says that he got interested in providing cancer drugs in the 1980s when a family member was diagnosed with cancer. He saw first-hand that the treatments for cancer are brutal and too often end up killing patients. He knew there simply had to be a better way and so he finished his zoology degree at the University of Maryland and started attending George Town University in Washington D.C. He graduated with a Ph.D. in genetics and started to do research and development in the healthcare industry.
Working as the chief executive officer of Seattle Genetics since 2002, Clay Siegall has built the largest biotech firm in the Pacific Northwest. He also serves on the board of a number of other companies in the industry such as Mirna Therapeutic and Alder Biopharmaceutical. Additionally, he is on the board of governors of the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center which is based in Seattle.
He says that he first came to Seattle when he accepted a job at Bristol-Myers Squibb’s Pharmaceutical Research Institute. He spent this time researching and also studying how to run a company. After five years he was ready to join up with a business partner and start his own company where he had the freedom to do things his own way. One way he does so is by forming partnerships with other companies in the healthcare industry so that he has the funds to research drugs and also the resources to get them on the market.