When Dr. Clay Siegall decided to create the new company Seattle Genetics he did so because he decided that he would be better off working for himself. At that point he had worked for both the federal government and Bristol-Myers Squibb in medical research and development, with a focus on targeted cancer therapies, and he wanted to be free of the bureaucracy and constraints that working for other in this position entails.
Dr. Clay Siegall admits, though, that it was partly about money. He came up with a number of concepts and ideas that were patented. He didn’t benefit from this, though, as the money from his inventions flowed into the pockets of the management of the entities he worked for as well as shareholder pockets. He decided that he should benefit financially too for his hard work and expertise and decided that taking the risk of founding a new company was worth it.
Since he founded his company in 1998 Dr. Clay Siegall has advanced his company’s interests by establishing partnerships both to develop drugs as well as to market and distribute them. His business’ first approved drug was Adcetris, which treats lymphoma, and this is marketed and distributed through a Japanese firm called Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. Inc. When this drug was first approved by the FDA he says that his company really didn’t have the expertise to handle getting it out on the market.
Astellas is another firm that Dr. Clay Siegall has established a partnership with, in this case a 50/50 one. This is for their Enfortumab vedotin which is used to treat relapsed refractory patients who have urothelial carcinoma. This is the most common form of bladder cancer. This is a global partnership and they will share in all expenses and revenues.
In the future, Dr. Clay Siegall says that his company has developed enough expertise on the business side that they will move beyond the need to partner in order to release and market their drugs. One of his latest drugs that could soon reach FDA approval is Ladiratuzumab vedotin. He intends to market and distribute this drug solely through Seattle Genetics.