One of the most important trends in medical developments over the last 30 years has been that of precision medicine. Precision medicine promises to bring the ability of technology, such as means of targeting diseases at the molecular level and the use of genomic sequencing to directly target disease organisms, to almost all disease processes that exist.
Nowhere is this more promising than in the area of cancer research. Since the 1990s, so-called targeted cancer therapies have been all the rave within the cancer research space. Among the biggest names in targeted cancer therapy development, one man stands out. Clay Siegall has been at the forefront of the development of various types of targeted cancer therapy since his days as a senior researcher at pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb. There, Dr. Siegall led a team of researchers that first synthesized a highly innovative form of targeted cancer therapy known as antibody drug conjugates. These are a class of drugs that use synthetic human antibodies as a means to deliver extremely lethal cytotoxins directly to the site of malignant tissues, thereby completely circumventing the need to release large amounts of dangerous poisons into the bloodstream. This has the promise of completely eliminating the horrific side effects long associated with traditional chemotherapy.
In 1998, Dr. Siegall left Bristol-Myers Squibb and founded his own company, Seattle Genetics. The firm is dedicated solely to the production and development of antibody drug conjugates. The company had its first fully FDA-approved drug sanctioned by that organization in 2011. ADCetris is approved for treatment of refractory non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a potentially fatal form of cancer does affects up to 500,000 people at any given time in the United States.
Under Dr. Siegall’s leadership, the company has also continued to develop many other drugs to treat different forms of cancer. Dr. Siegall believes that the firm will receive further FDA approval on up to a dozen new drugs or the next five years, waiting to the potential widespread acceptance of antibody drug conjugates in the cancer treatment marketplace.
Dr. Clay Siegall has also overseen the leasing out of many forms of intellectual property involved the synthesis of antibody drug conjugates.