Entrepreneur and scientist Clay B. Seigall is one of the driving forces behind a number of pharmaceutical companies in the U.S. In 1998, he co-founded Seattle Genetics – a scientific foundation aimed at innovating ways on helping patients. During the course of his stay, Seigall steered the company towards establishing the antibody-drug conjugates designed for the treatment of cancer. It was also Siegall who scored a $300 million worth of multiple Antibody Drug Conjugates (ADC) licenses with Genentech (Roche), GlaxoSmithKline, AbbVie, and Pfizer. Siegall led Seattle Genetics into generating more than $675 million including its IPO in 2001.
In a keynote speech during the 5th Annual ADC, Seigall noted a successful FDA approval of the Biologics License Application for ADCETRIS to be used for post-transplant treatment of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) patients. This is a breakthrough considering that 50 percent of HL patients who underwent autologous stem cell transplant are likely to have relapse. Seattle Genetics is also working on three-phase trials on ALCANZA, ECHELON-1, and ECHELON-2 which are potential label expansion for ADCETRIS.
ADC development holds a brighter yet challenging future in becoming a highly-specific tumor antigen. For the past 17 years, Seattle Genetics has made significant investments to products specific to cancer treatment. Currently, the company is working on SGN-CD33A and SGN-CD19A. SGN-CD33A is intended as a new treatment for acute myeloid leukemia. On the other hand, SGN-CD33A allows the cell-killing PBD dimer to release cytotoxic chemicals into CD33-positive cells.
Currently, Siegall serves as the chair of the Board of Directors at Ultragenyx Pharmaceuticals and Mirna Therapeutics, Inc. He also holds the same position in Alder Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. since 2006. After finishing his Zoology degree at the University of Maryland, Siegall pursued a Doctor of Philosophy major in Genetics at The George Washington University.
Like Seattle Genetics, Mirna is focused on cancer research, with a specialization in microRNA therapeutics. miRNAs are hardwired in the human genome and are used as natural regulators of the overall gene expression. There are approximately 1,400 miRNAs in the human genome, comprising at least 2 percent of the mammalian genes. Founded in 2007, Mirna Therapeutics has received funding from private and public entities including the State of Texas and the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.