What Makes Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.'s R&D Exec a Top Earner in Biotech?

Published: Jan 11, 2013

As biotech R&D spending grows, and a steady stream of biotech products continues to win regulatory approval, R&D executives at the companies commercializing these drugs has been rising accordingly. In a new analysis published in Nature Biotechnology, Senior Editor Michael Francisco looks at the salaries of the top-paid biotech R&D officers, as reported in the 2013 BioWorld Executive Compensation Report. The report tracks the annual compensation for biopharmaceutical execs at 258 companies based on U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. In his analysis, Francisco notes that in addition to salary and bonuses, other compensation like stock, stock options and long-term cash awards can double total compensation for R&D officers at these big companies. The top five earners, ranked by total compensation, in 2011 were: George Yancopoulos, founding scientist, president and chief scientific officer, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, $2.6 million (salary = $653,000) Roger Perlmutter, former executive vice president of research & development, Amgen, $2.4 million (salary = $982,000) Norbert Bischofberger, executive vice president of research & development and chief scientific officer, Gilead Sciences, $1.6 million (salary = $756,000) Stephen P. Squinto, executive vice president and head of R&D, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, $1.33 million (salary = $475,000) Douglas Williams, executive vice president of R&D, Biogen Idec, $1.3 million (salary = $594,000)

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