Clay Siegall: The History of Seattle Genetics


The beginning of Seattle Genetics starts with its founder, Clay Siegall. Dr. Siegall was once a college student facing something too many people face; watching a family member struggle with cancer. In Dr. Siegall’s case, this was before the modernization and advancement of cancer treatment therapies.

He watched his loved one nearly die, not from cancer, but from their chemotherapy. After so many brutal treatments of chemo, they developed severe anemia. For Siegall, it was a wake-up call. He immediately began looking for other treatments. Sadly, all he found was radical surgery and amputation.

Realizing the harsh reality many face, Dr. Siegall dedicated himself to creating better therapy drugs and treatments. In 1998, Dr. Siegall founded Seattle Genetics and now serves as CEO. His biotech firm specializes in developing targeted therapy drugs for specific disease types. Many of the diseases they focus on haven’t seen significant mortality improvements in decades.

When the firm first opened, it was run by a skeleton crew of researchers. Today, Seattle Genetics is the apex of the targeted therapy industry. It’s also a well-respected power player in cancer research. Seattle Genetics is predicted to lead the entire industry into the 21st century with authority.

It’s obvious that his team of researchers is the stars of the company. Surprisingly, so is the sales staff. If it weren’t for the sale staff, his firm would’ve failed long ago. No matter how astonishing their drug development results are, the sales staff makes it possible for Seattle Genetics to succeed.

Especially in the beginning, the sales staff kept the company alive. The first three years were incredibly dicey. Their operating capital was depleted, and it looked like they weren’t going to make it. So, Dr. Siegall dedicated his entire staff to staying focus and pulling through.

In the end, that’s what makes Seattle Genetics successful. It’s a personal belief of Siegall’s that hard work is the determining factor in whether a company succeeds. No matter how smart someone is, hard work equals success.