Clay Siegall’s life begins in college. While studying zoology at the University of Maryland, one of his family members falls ill. Although the disease was killing, it was the treatment regimen Clay found brutal. At one point, their chemotherapy treatment made them sicker and they developed severe anemia and nearly died.
While watching his loved one suffer, he thought there must be a better way. He began searching all other treatment options, but he only found those that involved radical surgery and amputation. Inspired by the brutal suffering of a family member, Siegall became obsessed with finding better treatments.
After graduating from Maryland, he enrolled at George Washington University. There, he earned a Ph.D. in genetics and started his career. He’s always loved medicine and technology, and he thought working with Bristol was a great idea. That decision proved itself as one of the worse decisions he’s ever made.
The ownership of Bristol was terrible. Dr. Siegall was a senior researcher with very little authority. He didn’t have as much autonomy on projects as he wanted. Much of the time, he felt disrespected and underappreciated by the ownership. He even felt used and mistreated.
Bristol turned out to be focused on making money. That’s not why Dr. Clay Siegall got into drug development, so he didn’t fit in. At one point, he earned the company $80 million, and he didn’t see a dime of it. Fed up with being used and abused, he decided to become his own boss.
In 1998, he founded Seattle Genetics. Now, he used his love of medicine and technology to overcome disease. He truly explored the possibilities of intervening in nature’s course and bringing people back from the brink of certain death. To this day, money plays a small role in much of Seattle Genetic’s drug development.
Within the first few years, Seattle Genetics grew into one of the top companies in the targeted drug therapies industry. It was also the first company to develop the first FDA-approved antibody drug conjugate (ADC).