Science pays: 2013's 10 best-compensated R&D chiefs in biopharma

For an idea of what kind of year a drug developer had, take a look at what it paid its head of R&D.

Regeneron ($REGN), soaring on the blockbuster Eylea and working through Phase III for two more contenders, handed its research chief $31 million in total compensation last year. Johnson & Johnson ($JNJ) picked up three FDA approvals last year, rewarding R&D chief Paul Stoffels with $7.8 million, while GlaxoSmithKline's ($GSK) impressive 5 agency nods helped Moncef Slaoui to an $8.4 million year despite a few clinical setbacks.

On the other hand, Novartis' ($NVS) Mark Fishman and Pfizer's ($PFE) Mikael Dolsten saw their take-homes slip in transitional years, as both drugmakers are amending how they conduct R&D, looking to slim down and open up to external partnering.

The year also saw a duo of big-name research heads, once deposed, signing lucrative deals to return to drug development. Roger Perlmutter, a year removed from departing Amgen ($AMGN), landed at Merck ($MRK) and cleared $6 million in about 9 months. Same goes for Martin Mackay, forced out after Pascal Soriot took over AstraZeneca ($AZN), who wound up at Alexion Pharmaceuticals ($ALXN) and picked up $6.3 million for 7 months of work.

On the whole, this year's top 10 took a 35% pay cut compared to last year's best-compensated R&D chiefs. However, removing Regeneron's George Yancopoulos and his outlier compensation--the above-mentioned $31 million last year and a whopping $81.6 million in 2012--the average inched up 2.7% year-over-year.

You may notice what seem like glaring omissions on this list, which is lacking the R&D heads of AstraZeneca ($AZN), Sanofi ($SNY), Roche ($RHHBY) and others. For reasons including legal obligation and continental custom, those outfits don't disclose their research execs' pay.

Click through our roundup for a look at who ranks where in the biopharma R&D world, and stay tuned for FiercePharma's coming countdown of the highest-paid CEOs in the industry.

-- Damian Garde (email | Twitter)

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Science pays: 2013's 10 best-compensated R&D chiefs in biopharma