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Under leadership of Clay Siegall, Seattle Genetics follows marginal utility maximizing strategy

September 24, 2017 - Author: steph

Almost every successful entrepreneur eventually comes to the realization that the best way to make money is to enter into an industry where one could be a first mover. Examples of successful companies that have done this include Google, Microsoft, Apple and almost every other major innovator that has been able to rise to completely dominate any given industry. The importance of being a first mover and not attempting to compete with long-established and entrenched rivals is one of the most important principles of entrepreneurship.

 

No one understands this better than the CEO of Seattle Genetics, Clay Siegall. Since founding the firm, in 1998, Clay Siegall has decided to follow a completely novel approach to the treatment of cancer. Rather than attempting to create cancer treatments for cancer types that are already saturated with market solutions, Dr. Siegall has followed a strategy of attempting to treat those cancers that have not seen significant improvements in survivability rates over the last 30 years.

 

This led Dr. Siegall directly to the cancer type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This potentially fatal illness of the lymphatic system affects almost 500,000 people in the United States at any given time. Although it has a relatively low mortality rate, by cancer standards, it still kills many thousands of people each year in the United States alone. This is due to its high incidence and the fact that the disease has not seen significant improvements in mortality for well over three decades.

 

Dr. Siegall chose this disease as a means to prove the concept of his company’s main product, antibody drug conjugates. This highly innovative class of drugs uses synthetic human antibodies as a means to deliver lethal agent to the site of malignant tissues, enabling the drug to almost completely avoid the systemic release of dangerous poisons into the bloodstream that are responsible for the vast majority of side effects associated with modern chemotherapeutic regimes.

 

The strategy has proven to be a round success, with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma experiencing one of its first significant survivability improvements in decades. This is largely attributed to the introduction of antibody drug conjugates as a second-line treatment for refractory non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

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