The second question that Dr. Clay Siegall was asked in his interview with Inspirey is how does he make money with his biotech firm, Seattle Genetics. Siegall’s answer to the question was that Seattle Genetics makes revenue primarily through the selling of its drugs that it created, patented and manufactured. The biggest money maker for Seattle Genetics right now says Clay Siegall is the antibody drug conjugate known as Adcertis that was developed by his company. Adcetris is the first antibody drug conjugate in history to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration. Seattle Genetics’ Adcetris is currently approved by the FDA to treat three different indications or symptoms of cancer.
Another way that Seattle Genetics earns money is through production partnerships. This is when two biotech firms team up to create drugs together. For example, Seattle Genetics may agree to manufacture drugs for another company at is facilities. In exchange, the other company will pay Seattle Genetics for making its products. The rights of the drug still remain at the other company however.
Seattle Genetics also generates revenue by licensing out patented processes and technology that they have created. Licensing means that Seattle Genetics allows another biotech firm to use its patented technology or process, but they will have to pay a royalty fee in order to to so. Licensing alone provides a substantial amount of revenue for the company.
Clay Siegall says that the process to get a drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration takes a very long time, is costly and complicated. He says that if you get a medicine approved that has a market for it, then that medicine can make you a lot of money potentially. The downside to this says Siegall, is that there is a lot of risk involved. The research and development process is very costly and time consuming as is the approval process. What also adds to the risk and pressure at biotech firms, is that the drug manufactures have to essentially have to cover all of these costs which can end up costing tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars.