2014 pay package: $35.5 million
2013 pay package: $31 million
2014 compensation: $910,500 in salary; $1.8 million bonus; $32.7 million in option awards; and $30,525 in other compensation
George Yancopoulos, fast becoming the de facto leader of this list, again took home nearly twice the pay package of his nearest competitor. Regeneron's ($REGN) top scientist saw the fair value of his option awards jump roughly 16% over 2013, reflecting both the company's ever-climbing market value and its commitment to rewarding the man CEO Leonard Schleifer credits with building the R&D culture that has paved the Big Biotech's path to success.
Yancopoulos may never again reach the $81.5 million total compensation he grossed in 2012, a figure inflated by a 500,000-share restricted stock award. But that big year casts a long and lucrative shadow: Those shares vest in 2017, and while Regeneron pegged their value at $57.3 million in 2012, the company's market cap has nearly tripled since then.
Meanwhile, Yancopoulos' R&D group is poised to add yet another FDA-approved therapy to its résumé of success, expecting a final decision later this month on the Sanofi ($SNY)-partnered alirocumab, a PCSK9-blocking cholesterol drug that has the chance to lead a $10 billion market.
Behind that is sarilumab, an antibody designed to combat rheumatoid arthritis that has come through in a string of Phase III trials and has a target FDA submission date in the fourth quarter. And perhaps most promising is dupilumab, which targets two proteins that play a key role in the inflammatory process and could treat a wide range of allergic ailments with a common root. The antibody is in Phase III for its primary indication of eczema, and Regeneron recently launched a 1,600-patient pivotal trial in asthma. If the breakthrough-designated therapy can prove itself in late-stage trials, analysts figure it could bring in peak sales of more than $2.5 billion a year.
All of which is to say Yancopoulos and his crew have a big year ahead, and if Regeneron's pipeline bets come through, it's safe to assume he'll be back atop this list for 2015.
- here's the proxy
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