Seagen CEO Takes Leave of Absence Following Domestic Violence Allegation

Clay Siegall_Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

Seagen CEO Clay Siegall / Courtesy Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

Seagen’s board of directors shared difficult news Monday morning regarding its president and CEO, Clay Siegall, Ph.D.

Upon receiving information regarding allegations of domestic violence, the decision was made that Siegall will take a leave of absence from his roles, which also includes chairman of the board. Siegall has denied the allegations and informed Seagen that he is currently involved in a divorce.

Seagen is a global clinical-stage biotech company developing antibody-drug congjugates (ADCs) for the treatment of cancer.

“We have high standards for employee conduct, we condemn domestic violence in all its forms, and we are treating these allegations with the utmost seriousness. At this time, the facts are still uncertain, and our decisions will be guided by the outcome of our investigation,” said Nancy Simonian, M.D., chair of the Seagen nominating and corporate governance committee.

During the leave of absence, Roger Dansey, M.D. will rise to the appointment of interim CEO. Dansey has served as Seagen’s chief medical officer since 2018. Dansey has been instrumental in helping Seagen to evolve into a leader in the oncology space. He also currently serves on the board of directors at INOVIO Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Prior to joining Seagen, Dansey served as therapeutic area head for late-stage oncology at Merck. Among his accomplishments, Dansey was responsible for the registration of blockbuster Keytruda across multiple indications. Dansey previously cut his teeth in the oncology space with Amgen and Gilead Sciences.

Dansey issued a statement regarding his commitment to his new role.

“Seagen is an extraordinary company, and I am deeply committed to continuing our standards of excellence in developing and commercializing transformative medicines,” he said. “Our strong leadership team is dedicated to working with our exceptional employees around the globe on addressing the unmet needs of cancer patients.”

This unfortunate news interrupts a long wave of good fortune for Seagen. In March, the company shared news of a collaboration with Sanofi. The joint effort will seek to use Sanofi’s monoclonal antibody (mAb) technology and Seagen’s antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) technology to develop ADCs for treatment of cancers.

The company recently announced the first dosing in the phase III HER2CLIMB-05 trial investigating TUKYSA in patients with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer, in addition to the start of the phase III MOUNTAINEER-03 study. The latter seeks to investigate the safety and efficacy of TUKYSA in patients with HER2-positive metastatic colorectal cancer, in conjunction with chemotherapy.

In addition, the company announced that a 270,000 square foot facility will be constructed in Everett, Washington. This site will contribute to Seagen’s global presence, which currently reaches to five countries with headquarters in Seattle, Washington.

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