Founded in 1998, Seattle Genetics uses human antibodies to create effective therapies to treat cancer. Now a major player in the Seattle biotech community, the company has 900 employees, a $10 billion market value and is Washington’s largest biotech company. And with its consistent growth and investments in its flagship drug Adcetris, it’s well on its way to becoming a major pharmaceutical company. According to co-founder, CEO, president and chairman Clay Siegall, Seattle Genetics is an emerging multiproduct, global, oncology company.
Seattle Genetics has several viable drugs in its development pipeline. It’s also focused on developing and marketing new products. Initially the company sold the international rights to its products. Now, it has an office in Switzerland handlings its international marketing. Sales are up 46%, Seattle Genetics’ stock price has tripled in the past 5 years and spending on its specialty, antibody-drug conjugate development, is up 64%. Those drugs kill cancerous cells without damaging healthy cells. The company has developed 11 of them. Siegall says 4 of them are ready for use.
Seattle Genetics’ FDA-approved ADC Adcetris could generate annual sales of $1 billion if it becomes oncologist’s drug of choice. So far it’s been a moderate success. The company is studying ways to use it in combination with immunotherapies to create new markets. Positive results from an on-going clinical study would propel Adcetris into a billion dollar product. But the cost of new drugs is a touchy topic. Seattle Genetics also has the cancer drugs 33A, 22ME and LIV1 poised to be released. The question for Clay Siegall is will Seattle Genetics become a pharma giant like Genentech or be bought out.
Clay Siegall became interested in cancer research after one of his relatives died from the disease. He attended the University of Maryland and earned a bachelor’s degree in Zoology. He then graduated from George Washington University with a doctorate in Genetics. Siegall worked with some of the top cancer research companies. They included Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute.
Since founding Seattle Genetics, he has raised over $675 million to support the company’s activities from public and private funding sources. He held the company’s IPO in 2001. In addition to his research and fundraising activities, Dr. Siegall holds 15 patents and has written pieces for over 70 publications. He’s also on the board of the biotech company Alder BioPharmaceuticals.