In any business, it is imperative to become the dominant force in whatever market one is participating. This is especially true in businesses that require a high level of capital infrastructure in order to compete. Businesses like medicine, airlines and the pharmaceutical industry require such large amounts of capital that it would be foolish for anyone to attempt to compete in these well established markets.
CEO Clay Siegall understands this better than anyone. As the head of his own company, Seattle Genetics, Dr. Siegall has long sought to blaze new trails in the area of targeted cancer therapies. Assiduously avoiding those markets that have already been dominated by other pharmaceutical companies, Dr. Siegall has focused instead on cancer types that have not seen significant mortality improvement over the last 30 years. This has led him to create some of the most innovative drug types ever seen in the cancer treatment industry.
Through the introduction of antibody drug conjugates, a class of targeted cancer therapy that uses synthetic human antibodies to deliver extremely lethal cytotoxins directly to the site of malignant tissues, Dr. Siegall is making serious inroads into increasing the survivability of cancer types that have been stagnant set the 1970s. One of these cancer types is non-Hodgkins lymphoma, a lymphatic system disorder that affects up to 500,000 people in the United States alone at any given time.
Although non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is less deadly than many other types of cancer, it affects so many people that it leads to thousands of deaths each year in the United States. However, the disease has not seen significant improvements in the mortality rate since the 1970s, leading Dr. Siegall to focusing on this disease as an ideal test bed for his highly innovative new class of drugs, antibody drug conjugates.
In 2011, Seattle Genetics was granted the first full FDA approval for a antibody drug conjugate, ADCetris. This miracle drug has been approved for treatment of refractory non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Dr. Siegall believes that within a few years it will also be fully approved by the nation’s primary drug regulatory agency for use as a front-line treatment and not only non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma but also a wide range of other cancer types.