Leonard "Len" Schleifer
CEO, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
2012 pay package: $30.05 million
2011 pay package: $10.56 million
Professional Profile: What's with the 184% raise? Leonard Schleifer, 60, led the company to some major milestones during what might have been the best year for Regeneron since he founded the biotech company in 1988. In fact, Tarrytown, NY-based Regeneron ($REGN) swung to profitability and served up victories on the commercial and R&D fronts. Schleifer, a board-certified neurologist, has spent a quarter of a century as chief executive of the biotech powerhouse, having started the company after teaching neurology in medical school at Cornell.
2012 Compensation Stack: All the top executives were handsomely rewarded for the company's overachieving 2012, with the bulk of their compensation from equity awards. Schleifer garnered $26.63 million in equity-based pay, in addition to a cool $1 million salary, $2.3 million bonus and $116,791 in other pay. One might assume he was the most highly compensated executive at Regeneron, yet that distinction belongs to the company's long-serving chief scientist, Dr. George Yancopoulos. Yancopoulos got a total pay package of $81.6 million.
Company Performance: Schleifer has led the assembly of Regeneron into a finely tuned biotech machine over the past 25 years. Last year the company zoomed past industry rivals in multiple ways.
On the commercial side, the company had a breakout year, with U.S. net sales of $838 million for the macular degeneration drug Eylea. The greater-than-expected sales helped the company swing from a $222 million net loss in 2011 to a net gain of $750 million in 2012.
Unlike some other biotech companies, Regeneron owes much of its success to biotech drugs discovered in its own labs, including Eylea and its other marketed products. The company's pipeline now boasts 11 monoclonal antibodies based on its technology in clinical development, including the closely watched Phase III program for the PCSK9 antibody REGN727 in collaboration with Sanofi ($SNY) for lowering LDL or "bad" cholesterol.
Last year Sanofi, which is Regeneron's biggest pharma partner and an owner of 16.5% of the biotech, won FDA approval for the companies' drug called Zaltrap for treating colon cancer. The approval was a victory, but the therapy has been a commercial disappointment. Sanofi and Regeneron are also teamed up on the antibody drug candidate REGN88, which is in Phase III testing for rheumatoid arthritis.
The progress of the pipeline and sales of Eylea propelled Regeneron's stock price northward by an amazing 208.6%, the best among all of the biggest biotech companies.
The company has the PCSK9 drug and other candidates to potentially elevate Regeneron to new heights, and the company's compensation committee has awarded Schleifer and Yancopoulos megabucks to stick around.
Special Report: The 25 most influential people in biopharma today - 2013 - Leonard Schleifer - Regeneron | Regeneron - The Biggest R&D Spenders in Biotech
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