2014 pay package: $8.2 million
2013 pay package: Not disclosed
2014 compensation: $564,596 in salary; $6.8 million in stock awards; $595,533 in nonequity incentive pay; $25,042 in pension contributions and deferred compensation earnings; and $163,955 in other compensation
Biogen's ($BIIB) Alfred Sandrock is another new face on this list, ascending to the company's roster of highest-paid executives after his promotion to group senior vice president and chief medical officer in May 2013. And like most of this year's top earners, his total compensation is largely propped up by hefty awards of a stock that has rapidly grown in value.
The Big Biotech's share value rose more than 20% in 2014, driven by its continued success in developing and launching treatments for multiple sclerosis and hemophilia, and further buoyed by optimism that Biogen, bucking years of industrywide failure, may be on track for late-stage success in Alzheimer's disease.
Sandrock, who joined the company in 1998, has played a major role in the company's recent rise, including in the development of Tecfidera, the oral MS treatment that helped Biogen clear $9.7 billion in revenue last year.
And the company's plans for the future call for more bold and costly bets on neuroscience. Earlier this year, Biogen shook up the industry when aducanumab, an antibody targeting the Alzheimer's-related beta amyloid proteins, charted a significant effect on cognition in a small, early trial. Encouraged by that signal, Sandrock's team is sprinting ahead with plans to spend $2.5 billion over 5 years to take aducanumab through late-stage development.
Biogen, which excised the old "Idec" from its name in March, is now working to become more than "just an MS company," as CEO George Scangos has said, scaling up its bets in CNS ailments including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and spinal muscular atrophy. Meanwhile, the company is at work on two Phase III treatments for lymphoma; midstage therapies for lupus, neuralgia, stroke and pain; and a slew of early-stage candidates for other CNS and fibrotic diseases.
- here's the proxy
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