Regeneron exec tops list of highest-paid biotech R&D officers

It's a good time to be a biotech R&D boss. Emerging from the global financial downturn, the biotech industry has roared back with record market values and a steady stream of regulatory approvals. And top R&D executives are seeing that reflected in their paychecks.

The top 20 earners, all from U.S. companies, earned anywhere from $662,000 to $2.55 million in the 2011 fiscal year. The top-paid R&D officer, according to the data, was George Yancopoulos of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals ($REGN), bringing in a total annual compensation package of nearly $2.6 million in 2011. Next was Amgen's ($AMGN) ex-R&D chief Roger Perlmutter raking in $2.4 million, Norbert Bischofberger of Gilead Sciences ($GILD) making nearly $1.6 million, Stephen Squinto of Alexion Pharmaceuticals ($ALXN) earning $1.3 million, and Douglas Williams of Biogen Idec ($BIIB) netting $1.3 million. Perlmutter left Amgen in early 2012 after an 11-year stint with the world's biggest biotech.

The numbers were tallied in the newly released 2013 BioWorld Executive Compensation Report, which is based on 2011 SEC filings to track annual compensation for biopharmaceutical executives at 258 companies--including 55 non-U.S. firms.

Yancopoulos' earnings might reflect Regeneron's recent successes--last year the company gained FDA approval for its macular degeneration injectable Eylea as well as Zaltrap, which is used to treat patients with colorectal cancer.

Broken down, biotech R&D officers' median annual compensation package in 2011 comprised a $343,600 salary, $322,082 worth of long-term incentives, bonus of $100,000 and $7,830 in other compensation--totaling an average of $773,512. The 16-year high of 39 new drug approvals at FDA in 2012 and stellar market year for biotech bode well for growth in those numbers.

- here's the report

Special Reports: The Biggest R&D Spenders In Biopharma | The Biggest R&D Spenders in Biotech

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