After pocketing $18.9M, Seagen's Clay Siegall could reclaim spot among best-paid biopharma CEOs

After joining the upper echelons of the biopharma industry’s top-paid CEOs in 2018, Seagen helmsman Clay Siegall, Ph.D., could reclaim a spot for 2021.

Last year, Siegall collected a little more than $18.9 million in total pay, Seagen reported in its proxy filing published this week. That’s nearly 14% more than the $16.49 million he took home in 2020, or about 26% more than the $14.52 million Siegall bagged in 2019.

Siegall’s 2021 payout tracks closely with the $18.1 million he pocketed in 2018. That year, the CEO’s compensation more than doubled from 2017’s $8.62 million, landing him the No. 15 spot on Fierce Pharma’s annual list of the top-paid biopharma chiefs.

Meanwhile, every line item in Siegall’s pay package increased in 2021, thanks to his stewardship over the course of a growth year for Seagen, the company said in its securities filing.

His base salary increased 10.04% to about $1.16 million, courtesy of “performance and to enhance competitive positioning in the market,” Seagen said. His cash incentive pay chipped in about $1.84 million more, while Siegall’s stock and option awards clocked in at around $15.8 million. Meanwhile, the CEO earned $119,996 in “other compensation.”

2021 proved to be a strong year for Seagen’s established trio of cancer meds Adcetris, Tukysa and Padcev. Lymphoma drug Adcetris boosted sales 7%, landing a total of $705.6 million, while revenues from breast cancer med Tukysa climbed a whopping 179% to $334 million, Seagen said in a February earnings release.

Siegall was “heavily engaged in discussions around our global commercial strategy and footprint as we commercialize Tukysa,” Seagen pointed out in its rationale for the CEO’s pay.

Revenue for bladder cancer drug Padcev, meanwhile, jumped 53% to $339.9 million. In July, the antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) converted its conditional nod in third-line metastatic or locally advanced bladder cancer into a full approval. At the same time, the FDA cleared the drug to move up the treatment chain as a second-line therapy for adult bladder cancer patients who are ineligible for cisplatin-based chemotherapy.

SVB Leerink analysts have previously predicted the drug could hit $1.32 billion in peak sales across all potential indications in previously treated bladder cancer. Wall Street, meanwhile, think that number could reach $2.8 billion in 2030, provided Padcev makes its way to newly diagnosed patients.

As for Seagen’s other achievements in 2021, the company scored an accelerated approval for tisotumab vedotin, now christened Tivdak, for patients with recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer whose disease progresses while on or after chemotherapy—a first for an ADC.

With three ADCs now approved and five under development, the company last year snagged the top spot on Fierce Pharma’s list of the top 10 ADC contenders in 2021.

So, how does Siegall’s pay track with that of his CEO peers at major pharmaceutical companies? So far, based on the organizations that have already reported executive compensation for 2021, Siegall’s pay beat that of top executives at Roche, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi.

Meanwhile, Siegall, AstraZeneca’s Pascal Soriot and Moderna’s Stephane Bancel all collected pay packages worth between $18 million and $19 million.

CEOs from AbbVie, Pfizer, Eli Lilly and Johnson & Johnson, meanwhile, are currently dominating the top of the pay rankings, with 2021 compensation packages all worth more than $20 million.