2. Paul Stoffels, Johnson & Johnson

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Paul Stoffels, Johnson & Johnson
Chief scientific officer
2018 pay package: $10.6 million
2017 pay package: $13.6 million
Change: -22%

2018 compensation:
$1.18 million in base salary        
$2.19 million in bonus
$6.68 million in stock and options
$391,000 in other compensation

Johnson & Johnson chief scientist Paul Stoffels, M.D., is among the top losers in the 2018 pay stakes but is still right up there when it comes to the total package value.

Much of the 22% decline came from the value of pension, stock and options, which have been reduced for almost all of J&J’s top executives despite the company’s meeting or exceeding its sales and earnings targets for the year and meeting strategic goals including adding to its pipeline and making bolt-on acquisitions.

On the other hand, the company is facing hefty liability cases involving opioids, talc, hip replacement and vaginal mesh products, which have been weighing on its finances and could force some tough decisions on investment, including in R&D. It's waiting on the outcome of a $17.5 billion opioid lawsuit in Oklahoma, for instance.

The picture for J&J in 2019 could therefore depend on the outcome of those cases, as well as how well the company’s newer cancer and immunology drugs fare as it faces declines for older products like Zytiga, Tracleer and Remicade.

Stoffels made open-ended innovation and partnering a key strategy for J&J since he was appointed to the top R&D job a decade ago, and there’s no sign of that drive letting up. The group made a string of new tie-ups in 2018, starting the year with no fewer than 15 alliances with academic groups and startup companies in neuroscience, oncology and other areas, continuing its strategy under Stoffels of partnering on promising science in the earliest stages of development through its venture fund and incubator programs.

By the end of 2018, that had risen to 74 deals and 29 new investments, as well as 13 acquisitions and licensing agreements. There was a partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb on Factor XIa inhibitor BMS-986177, a tie-up with Arrowhead on hepatitis B therapies and the acquisition of oncolytic immunotherapy startup BeneVir, as well as a deal with Theravance for TD-1473, a JAK inhibitor for inflammatory bowel disease.

In 2019, the drive has continued, with J&J forging partnerships with the likes of Locus, Morphic, AdoRx and Genmab in the first half of this year. Meantime, its JLABS program is gathering pace, with the first European incubator opened in February of last year.

J&J also showed its hand in gene therapy, forging an Alzheimer’s gene therapy research pact with the University of Pennsylvania and paying $100 million upfront for rights to MeiraGTx’s clinical-stage gene therapies for retinal diseases. And plays in immuno-oncology are also starting to bear fruit, with a Legend-partnered CAR-T against BCMA showing encouraging results in a phase 1/2 myeloma trial.

J&J already has the second-highest R&D budget in the industry but says it is boosting that still further over the coming years, planning to invest more than $30 billion in R&D and capital investments in the U.S. over the next four years. That’s an increase of 15% and raises speculation that some of that extra cash could go on larger-scale bolt-on acquisitions and licensing deals.

Stoffels presided over 18 new drug approvals between 2011 and 2018, and J&J has already added to that list this year with Spravato for treatment-resistant depression and Balversa in bladder cancer, both potentially $1 billion-plus products according to the company, and the first FDA green light for nonmetastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer for Erleada.

Between 2019 and 2023, J&J says it will have at least 10 new molecular entities with sales above $1 billion and more than 40 line extensions, 10 of which will add $500 million or more in potential sales.

The last few months have seen quite a few pipeline setbacks, however, including a failed respiratory syncytial virus program partnered with Alios, OSE-partnered autoimmune disease candidate FR104, its cadazolid antibiotic program, and a BACE inhibitor for Alzheimer’s.

J&J also pulled the plug on a Geron pact involving cancer drug imetelstat and walked away from a $915 million alliance with South Korea’s Hanmi on diabetes and obesity drugs.

2. Paul Stoffels, Johnson & Johnson