Category Archives: Researchers

Clay Siegall: What’s the Cost of Living?

It’s fair to say that if more people focused on helping others because it’s the right thing to do and not focus on trying to make money, the world would be a much better place. Sadly, that’s not how the world works, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t people trying to do the right thing.

Dr. Siegall is a George Washington University and University of Maryland graduate who’s genuinely trying to help those suffering from disease. In 1998, he founded Seattle Genetics, a biotech firm at the apex of the targeted therapies industry. Seattle Genetics specializes in developing targeted therapy drugs for diseases that have had no substantial mortality improvements in the last few decades.

Dr. Clay Siegall knows how disappointing companies that focus on profits are to society. In some cases, they’re harmful. Dr. Siegall worked for a company that focused solely on racking in big profits. To sum up his words, he hated. He felt disrespected and underappreciated. Despite being a senior researcher, the company restricted his autonomy on projects. They also benefitted millions of dollars of his patent and rarely, if ever, paid him more than his regular paycheck.

Once he founded Seattle Genetics, he moved the targeted therapies industry into the 21st century. From day one, Dr. Siegall’s goal was advancing therapy drugs for the benefit of patients everywhere. Since then, he’s grown his skeleton crew run firm into one of the biggest power players in the cancer research space.

It’s no surprise that money is still an issue. Even though it’s not Dr. Siegall’s top priority, in the drug development industry, money is everything. It took Seattle Genetics nearly a decade before it began turning a profit. Much of that money went toward developing life-saving therapy drugs.

The most expensive part of drug development is getting that drug approved by the FDA. It’s incredibly risky for any drug maker to get approved. According to statistics, only about one in ten candidate drugs are FDA-approved.