Clay Siegall, the co-founder and former CEO of Bothell-based biotech Seagen, is currently leading a new biotech venture through a merger. In March, Siegall was appointed as the CEO of Morphimmune, which recently announced its merger with Immunome, a biotech company based in Exton, Pennsylvania (Nasdaq: IMNM). Following the merger, Siegall will assume the role of president and CEO of the combined entity, which will retain the name Immunome and establish its headquarters in Seattle.
According to a spokesperson for the company, Morphimmune, which originated from Purdue University and initially had its headquarters in West Lafayette, Indiana, has considered Seattle its main base since Siegall assumed leadership in March. The spokesperson further mentioned that the combined company will maintain research labs in Exton and West Lafayette, and will have approximately 50 employees, according to a report in the Puget Sound Business Journal.
In a statement, Michael Rapp, Immunome’s board chairman, expressed the company’s excitement about having Clay Siegall, known for his remarkable track record in drug development and creating shareholder value, serve as chairman and CEO after the merger concludes. The spokesperson emphasized that Seattle possesses the necessary resources to establish a leading oncology company, and Immunome will explore growth opportunities accordingly. Upon the completion of the merger, Immunome shareholders will hold approximately 55 percent of the combined company, while Morphimmune shareholders will possess about 45 percent.
In addition to the merger announcement, Immunome disclosed a $125 million private placement investment from institutional investors on the same day. This investment, anticipated to finalize during the fourth quarter, will be utilized to advance the company’s pipeline and support general working capital. Immunome aims to submit three investigational new drug applications within 18 months of the investment closure. The company’s announcement highlighted that Immunome will be well-positioned to explore strategic in-licensing opportunities and pursue further acquisitions.
Morphimmune, established in 2020, is a preclinical biotech company focusing on cancer research, specifically targeting diseased cells with reduced toxicity and improved efficacy. On the other hand, Immunome, founded in 2008 according to its LinkedIn page, concentrates on cancer and infectious diseases. While its COVID-19 treatment is currently in Phase 1 clinical trials, the rest of its pipeline is in the research and pre-clinical stages.
Siegall resigned from Seagen in May 2022 following an arrest on suspicion of domestic violence. However, the city prosecutor later declined to press charges due to “evidentiary issues.” Seagen, founded by Siegall in 1997, has four approved cancer medications on the market, targeting Hodgkin lymphoma, bladder, breast, and cervical cancer. With $2 billion in revenue generated last year, the company is set to be acquired by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer for $43 billion, with the deal expected to conclude later this year or early next year. Former Novartis executive David Epstein assumed the role of Seagen’s CEO in November.