Over the years, I have discovered something common in the success stories of men and women world-wide. There is always a trigger that spurs each of these peculiar individuals to great heights. A recent interview with Clay B. Siegall revealed his success trigger in unmistakable terms. He narrated how, as a young man of 19, he had to bear the pains of seeing his father battle with cancer for 5 years. By the time he turned 24, the father gave up the ghost. To me, this unpalatable experience is the trigger that fired him to the enviable heights he now occupies. It is no accident that he chose to pursue a career that aims at eradicating the monster called cancer. If there is anything as the world of the dead, then the father must be happy with the devastation his son has melted on cancer so far.
Clay B. Siegall took off with a first degree in Zoology from the University of Maryland. His goal was to leave the University system with a doctorate degree, so he headed for George Washington University where he obtained his Ph.D. in Genetics.
Between 1988 and 1991, Siegall was on the payroll of the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health not only making a living but also acquiring vital knowledge and experience. He later joined the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute in 1991. He left the company in 1997 for one of the biggest challenge of his career – the birth of Seattle Genetics.
Clay B. Siegall co-founded Seattle Genetics in 1998. He has been the company’s President, Chief Executive Officer and Board’s Chairman from inception to date. Under his watch, the company has come up with several antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). The first of these ADCs is ADCETRIS® (brentuximab vedotin) which was speedily approved for public use by the FDA. At the moment, well over 65 countries are making use the drug in combating cancer.
With 15 patents, several international awards, more than 70 publications and a large heart for cancer patients, there are few humans that can rival the contributions of Clay B. Siegall in the war against cancer.