Robert Bradway--Amgen

Robert Bradway
CEO, Amgen

2012 pay: $13.57 million
2011 pay: $7.12 million
Change: +90%

Professional Profile: As part of an orchestrated succession plan, Robert Bradway officially took over as CEO of Amgen in May 2012 and then the chairmanship of the biotech giant at the start of this year. The 6-year company veteran has taken the helm from former chairman and CEO Kevin Sharer at a time of acute change, with rivals expected to elbow in on some of the company's most lucrative businesses from sales of Enbrel, Epogen and Xgena and patents on marquee products such as Neupogen and Epogen begin to expire in 2013. Bradway and new R&D chief Sean Harper plan to counter the threats to Amgen's growth with a series of new products under development, including some biosimilar versions of competitors' blockbuster biologics. 

2012 Compensation Stack: Amgen paid two CEOs last year. Bradway took home $13.57 million, and his predecessor, Sharer, was paid $9.13 million. The 90% jump in pay for Bradway shows just how much more Amgen pays its top exec versus the second-in-command, which was the role that Bradway played as company COO before he took the helm from Sharer a year ago. Amgen clings to the pay-for-exec-performances bandwagon with the rest of its peers, and Bradway's 2012 pay package includes $8.57 million in stock awards and a bonus of $3.12 million compared to a salary of $1.26 million and other compensation of $420,059.

Company Performance: Thousand Oaks, CA-based Amgen ($AMGN) has been known as the largest biotech company for years. With massive scale comes massive challenges to keep Wall Street happy, and Amgen has Big Pharma-like problems such as waning patent life on marquee drugs and increased competition to legacy products. It has kept investors happy with steady sales growth, dividends and share buybacks.

Amgen needs new drugs to keep growing, and last year the company made progress with candidates in its pipeline. In November the company reported upbeat midstage data on the PCSK9 drug candidate AMG 145, which offers a brand-new approach to lowering unhealthy LDL cholesterol. The Harper-led R&D crew has advanced the candidate into a fairly massive Phase III program in a race with Regeneron ($REGN)/Sanofi ($SNY) and others to bring the first drug in the class to market.

Yet the company reported a Phase III flop with the experimental antibody ganitumab in patients with pancreatic cancer, triggering questions about whether the company's R&D group should have forged ahead with the study based on results from small midstage trials.

Amgen aimed to gain an edge in drug development with the December buyout of deCode Genetics for $415 million, arguing that the Icelandic firm's expertise could aid the biotech's evaluation of R&D programs before they progressed to expensive trials. Time will tell whether Amgen's investment in deCode improves its batting average in what Harper has called "picking the winners."

Amgen also expects to create new lines of revenue from biosimilars. The company has begun collaborating with Actavis to develop copycat versions Roche's big-selling cancer therapies such as Rituxan, Herceptin and Avastin as well as Eli Lilly ($LLY) and Bristol-Myers Squibb's Erbitux. Meanwhile, Amgen aims to develop a biosimilar version of Humira, a direct competitor to the company's top-selling drug, Enbrel.

The company is playing on both sides of the biosimilars battle as both developer of knockoff biologics and defender of novel biotech drugs. After a legal battle with Amgen, Teva plans to launch its versions of Amgen's cancer supportive care therapies Neulasta and Neupogen in late 2013 as a U.S. patent on Neupogen expires.

For more:
Special Report: Amgen - The Biggest R&D Spenders in Biotech
Amgen's two chiefs together net $22.7M in 2012 pay

Robert Bradway--Amgen