Clay Siegall: A Man Who has a Future in Cancer Medicine

“When you’re in your youthful years, you think you know almost everything. When you get to 30s, you realize you don’t. Now, I’m in my 40s, and I know I don’t know much.” These are the words of Clay Siegall, co-founder, CEO, and chairman of the board of Seattle Genetics, Inc. launched in 1998. According to Siegall, he attributes learning from others as much as possible. He also encourages people to interact with smart people who have expertise in different areas to succeed as entrepreneurs.

In his interview, Clay Siegall’s passion in medicine, extensive researches, and drug development practices, particularly in cancer therapies, inspired him to start his business. He developed the urge to treat cancer patients after his father died from chemotherapy. Siegall’s business makes money by selling proprietary drugs. Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs), the first drug approved by FDA produced ADCETRIS (brentuximab vendotin) and is selling fast in the market. Seattle has a powerful sales team who engage prominent stakeholders in the market to purchase their drugs.

It took about ten years for Seattle to become profitable. It was undoubtedly clear that in 1999 and 2000, the company would collapse from capital depletion. Siegall worked hard and got the company back running. The first customers were through selling and referrals. Another marketing strategy that Seattle Genetics uses is by running a unique business.

Siegall holds a degree in Bachelor of Science, Zoology, from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. in Genetics studied at George Washington University. Before founding Seattle Genetics, Siegall worked for Bristol-Myers Squibb operating in their Pharmaceutical Research Institute where he learned how to run a company. The experience gathered here prepared him to start Seattle Genetics.

Siegall is now an author of over 70 publications and holds 15 patents. His primary goal is to go beyond what they’re doing today in treating cancer patients.


Clay Siegall co-founded Seattle Genetics in 1998. He is also the CEO and the chairman of the board. He previously worked for Bristol-Myer where he learned how to run a business. Siegall has a passion for treatment of cancer especially after his father died from chemotherapy. Having a Ph.D. in Genetics and degree in Zoology, Siegall has a team of trained staff and sales people who produce and sell unique drugs. He desires to expand treatment to cancer patients.