Dr. Clay B. Siegall: Healer, Scientist, Entrepreneur

To know Dr. Clay B. Siegall well is to know him as an entrepreneur and scientist. As a young adult, Clay Siegall watched his father’s cancer progress over a five-year period, until he died. From this point forward Siegall was trained as a scientist and dedicated himself to the study of genetics after receiving a Ph.D. from George Washington University. The futility of his father dying drove Siegall to improve the tools available to oncologists to treat cancer. Following receiving his Ph.D. Dr. Siegall worked with Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Siegall is a prolific researcher and has at least 70 publications and holds 15 patents.

Siegall, as genetics expert, combined with his pharmaceutical experience with Bristol-Myers, co-founded Seattle Genetics. He is its Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board. Dr. Siegall’s primary goal was the development of targeted cancer therapies. Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADCs) have the cancer-killing ability to discriminate between healthy and diseased tissue. The use of ADC in the treatment of cancer is an example of a targeted cancer therapy.

Through Innovative scientific research, Seattle Genetics and its team of collaborating scientists developed an antibody-drug conjugate, marketed as ADCETRIS. ADCETRIS received FDA approval in 2011. With the collaboration of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, ADCETRIS has been approved in more than 65 countries. ADCETRIS is the trade name for Brentuximab vedotin.

Dr. Siegall has fascinated the world of genetics, pharmaceuticals, and business. In 2013 Siegall received the University of Maryland Alumnus of the Year for Computer, Math and Natural Sciences, and in 2012 he received the Pacific Northwest Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Dr. Siegall has raised more than $330 million through public and private financing to support Seattle Genetics. Seattle Genetics, with collaboration agreements with MedImmune, CuraGen, Bayer, and Progenics has generated more than $65 million.

Dr. Clay B. Siegall moved past his sorrow when his father died. He vowed to spend his life finding a cure for cancer and honored his father by helping to cure others. His worked has not been completed.