Dr. Clay Siegall was interviewed for the online publication Inspirey, a website created to spread the success stories of entrepreneurs around the world. In the interview titled “Dr. Clay Siegall—CEO, Seattle Genetics”, Mike Munter sought to discover the inspiration behind Seattle Genetics, a biotech company.
In the interview, Munter discovered that Dr. Clay Siegall is a firm believer in hard work. Siegall believes that inspired work habits are the key to success and intelligence and network are secondary.
Siegall reveals that the company only became profitable about ten years after the initial public offering. But after hiring a talented sales team and developing a marketing strategy that involves long negotiation as relationship building, they are able to create contracts of 7 or 8 figures. He believes their selling process is rather unique since the marketing strategy is based in building relationships with the clients and negotiating with a great legal team. Because they have unique products, the sales staff is able to represent the company. He believes the sales team may be one of the most important parts in making the company successful. They developed the process after having some financial difficulties in 1999 and 2000. However, Siegall believes they were able to grow from it and become profitable due to their talented sales team.
The company also produces incredibly unique products. They were the first to have an FDA approved ADC. Their drug, ADCETRIS, is an antibody drug conjugate which combines monoclonal antibodies and cell-killing agents to treat cancer. He was inspired to create the company after realizing the lack of choices in cancer treatment, all of which can be very invasive and harmful to the patient. He realized that choosing between the harsh, systemic chemotherapy that can have deadly side effects, or brutal surgeries and amputations did not leave patients with the best options. He created Seattle Genetics to help those patients.
Prior to starting Seattle Genetics, Dr. Siegall worked with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharamaceutical Research Institute as a senior researcher. He also worked with the National Caner Institute and the National Institutes of Health. He is not only the CEO and President of Seattle Genetics, but he has also been a key factor in the capital-raising activities for the company. Under his leadership, the company was able to gain $675 million in financing. He is also a thorough researcher with nearly 70 published works and 15 patents. He led Seattle Genetics to create a variety of antibody-based cancer treatments including ADCETRIS, an FDA approved drug available in 65 countries.