Dr. Clay Siegall is the president and CEO of Seattle Genetics. Seattle Genetics is a biotechnology company that develops targeted therapy drugs. The company focuses on diseases where there has not been an improvement in the mortality rate with current drugs. Dr. Siegall was interviewed on Inspirery where he talked about the origins of Seattle Genetics and its business model. He said that he started the company after seeing the harsh treatment techniques that were being used in the treatment of cancer. He was asked how long it took for the company to become profitable. Clay Siegall answered that it was a decade after they went public.
Siegall said that company executives usually have to go through a lengthy process in order to land new clients. This involves many meetings and negotiations that can stretch for months. Siegall added that the company’s legal team was very competent. They had proved themselves over the years. Siegall said that hard work was the primary reason for his success. He quoted a letter from Darwin to Francis Galton where Darwin says that men differed only in work habits and not intellect. Siegall went on to state that passion and focus were the two key elements needed for success. Other things including intelligence and connections are secondary to these.
Siegall has worked with Seattle Genetics since 1998 when it was started. He played a huge role when the company was raising capital from private and public investors. They were able to develop the first antibody drug conjugate to be approved by the FDA with him as the leader. Siegall has also secured partnerships with other pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline. Clay Siegall was appointed to the board of directors of Mirna Therapeutics in 2013. Mirna is a biotech company that is involved in the research and development of micro-RNA therapies. Siegall was brought to the company as an outside director of the board. Siegall spoke at the time of the announcement and said that he was honored to become a part of Mirna. He stated that he was pleased with the company’s vision.