Seattle Genetics Advancing Cancer Treatments through Engineered Monoclonal Antibodies

Chemotherapy drugs interfere with the rapidly growing cells of the body. It affects cells like those of the stomach lining, skin, hair and fingernails. This is why chemotherapy causes temporary side effects (late effects) to patients. The late effects differ from patient to patient depending on the type of medicines used. New therapeutic treatments have been designed to treat cancer by targeting malignant cells, reducing damage to normal tissues and reducing the toxic effects of traditional chemotherapy.

Seattle Genetics is a biotechnology company that aims at revolutionizing the treatment of cancer by developing engineered monoclonal antibodies. The company is a leading developer of antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). The technology has resulted in therapies that are better tolerated and can be used with chemotherapy to improve patient outcomes without a considerable increase in toxicities.

Clay Siegall has produced the first product in the new class of ADCs. The product is known as ADCETRIS® (brentuximab vedotin) and was approved by the FDA in 2011. Seattle Genetics is further expanding the ADCETRIS opportunity by carrying out an extensive clinical development program to evaluate the drug’s potential in treating CD30-expressing lymphomas. Besides ADCETRIS, the company has a broad pipeline to address various types of cancers like colon cancer, leukemia, solid tumors, and breast cancer among others.

Seattle Genetics was founded in 1977 by Dr. Clay Siegall and Dr. H. Perry Fell. Dr. Siegall is a scientist by profession and has almost 20 years of experience in therapeutic drug treatment and cancer research. Before co-founding the biotechnology company, Dr. Siegall worked with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute as a senior research investigator from 1991 and 1995 and a chief scientist from 1995 to 1997. He served as a staff fellow and biotechnology fellow at the National Cancer Institute, and National Institutes of Health from 1988 to 1991.

Clay Siegall has enabled Seattle Genetics to achieve most of its goals. The achievements include initiating clinical trials of SGN-15 and entering into partnership agreements with numerous biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. The partnerships have been vital in expanding the company’s technology and maintaining its financial health.

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