Business Briefs: Seagen appoints new CEO; new research president

Also, Eviation order book tops $2 billion and Bothell business incubator secures half-million dollar grant.

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Seagen appoints new CEO; new research president

Seagen, the Bothell-based company that develops therapies for cancer patients, has installed a new chief executive officer.

David R. Epstein is the company’s new CEO and board member. He has more than 30 years experience in the industry, including more than 25 years at Novartis Pharmaceuticals.

Epstein replaces Clay Siegall, who stepped down as CEO, president and board chairman in May after he was arrested for investigation of domestic violence.

Siegall has denied the allegations.

Siegall co-founded the publicly traded company and had served as CEO since 1998.

“Following a comprehensive search process, the Board selected David to serve as Seagen’s next CEO. He shares Seagen’s belief that our future is bright as we continue to build world-class capabilities in order to develop and commercialize new innovative treatments that improve the lives of patients with cancer,” said Felix Baker, chairman of the board.

The firm’s therapies are used to treat Hodgkin lymphoma and bladder, breast and cervical cancers.

“Seagen is a pioneer in antibody-drug conjugate technology with a portfolio of four approved medicines, a diverse pipeline of promising programs, and a science-driven, patient-first culture,” Epstein said. “I am honored to become CEO and work with the experienced team to further deliver on Seagen’s mission to make a meaningful difference so that people who have been diagnosed with cancer can live better lives.”

Chief medical officer Roger Dansey served as the company’s interim CEO after Siegall’s departure. Dansey has been appointed president of research and development.

“We are extremely grateful for Roger’s successful leadership and dedication as interim CEO. We look forward to Roger being able to focus his efforts on further strengthening our early research efforts, as he has successfully done for development, and driving the innovative engine that has been the heart of Seagen to have an even greater impact on cancer patients in the future,” Baker said.

Earlier this year, Seagen said it plans to build a new manufacturing facility in Everett that will produce medicines for clinical trials and the commercial market. The company expects to open the 270,000-square-foot facility in 2024 and employ up to 200 workers.

Worldwide, the company employs more than 2,800 people, including more than 1,600 in the Pacific Northwest.

Eviation order book tops $2 billion

Eviation Aircraft, an electric airplane builder with engineering facilities in Arlington, has compiled more than $2 billion in orders for its all-electric commuter plane, the company said.

Eviation’s Alice conducted its first flight in September, an eight-minute flight that circled the Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake.

“Our order book passing the $2 billion mark is a significant commercial milestone,” said Gregory Davis, president and CEO of Eviation.

The company said it has almost 300 of the aircraft, known as Alice, on order.

Based on those figures, a report by Leeham News & Analysis estimated the cost of each Eviation model Alice airplane at about $6.7 million each.

“Using 300 and $2 billion for the math, this means the airplanes are $6.67 million each. That’s $741,000 per seat. This compares with $506,000 per seat for a 787-9 (296 seats, $150 million true sales price) and $309,000 per seat for a 737-9 (178 seats, $50 50 million true sales price),” the report said.

Customers for the Alice so far include U.S. regional airlines Cape Air and Global Crossing and German airline operator EVIA AERO.

“This success demonstrates that the Alice is leading the industry and meeting the market demand for zero-carbon flight,” Davis said.

Eviation unveiled its design for the production version of Alice a year ago.

The Alice, built from the ground up, produces no carbon emissions and costs significantly less to operate per flight hour compared to light jets or high-end turboprops, the company says.

It is designed to operate in all environments served by piston and turbine aircraft.

Alice is powered by two magni650 electric motors developed by magniX, which is based in Everett.

“With almost 300 aircraft now on order, the Alice is receiving strong customer endorsement,” said Eddie Jaisaree, Eviation’s vice president, commercial sales at Eviation.

The company is now focused on certifying the airplane for commercial service with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Eviation aims to certify the plane by 2025 and begin deliveries to customers by 2027.

Bothell business incubator secures half-million dollar grant

A Bothell-based business incubator will receive a $500,000 grant from the state’s Department of Commerce.

The recipient, Impact Washington, is a nonprofit that helps manufacturers with training programs and educational and industrial events.

The grant is one of several awards, ranging from $500,000 to $5 million, that will support 22 projects statewide, the agency said.

In all, the commerce department’s new Small Business Innovation Fund will distribute $32.5 million.

The innovation fund supports programs and services aimed at meeting the needs of BIPOC entrepreneurs, women-owned small businesses, and businesses located in underserved, low-income and rural parts of the state.

These manufacturers have traditionally been in a poor position to invest in training or attract the attention of consulting firms, putting them at a competitive disadvantage in the market.

“Impact Washington aims to help small manufacturers without distinction of size, revenue, ownership or location,” the nonprofit said on its application.

“The selected pool of organizations represents a wide range of projects that will help small businesses across the state access innovative new programs and services to help them build and grow,” said Linda Womack, the commerce department’s managing director of small business finance and community support.

Janice Podsada: 425-339-3097; jpodsada@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @JanicePods.

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