10. George Scangos - Biogen Idec

George Scangos
CEO, Biogen Idec
Total Compensation:
$15.02 million

Professional Profile: George Scangos, 65, is one of the growing number of CEOs on our list who was a scientist first. He has a Ph.D. in microbiology and was a biology professor at Johns Hopkins University before he moved into the biotech business. He started in the industry at Bayer, where he eventually became president of Bayer Biotechnology. In 1996 he left to join Exelixis ($EXEL) as president and CEO, and from there leapt to the CEO's post at Biogen Idec ($BIIB).

Company Profile: George Scangos took the top job at Biogen Idec in 2010, inheriting a pipeline that would soon enough turn out some blockbusters-to-be. But despite his short (so far) tenure, Scangos has reaped plenty of accolades for his performance. He restructured, clearing out of cancer research, nixing operations in San Diego, and refocusing on therapeutic areas where Biogen could shine.

Last year, Scangos and Biogen hit a major milestone. He and his team pushed its new multiple sclerosis treatment BG-12--now known as Tecfidera--past the FDA finish line. And he and his team executed the kind of launch that most drugmakers dream about. With $854 million in 2013 sales, the drug is expected to hit blockbuster levels this year, its first full year on the market.

But it wasn't just Tecfidera's wildly successful launch that vaulted Biogen's MS franchise forward in 2013. Scangos nabbed full rights to Tysabri from partner Elan ($ELN) for $3.25 billion, putting more of that drug's growing revenue in Biogen's own pocket. Plus, Tysabri is a monoclonal antibody treatment, tougher to copy when it goes off patent than Tecfidera could ever be.

Meanwhile, Biogen was moving toward an assault on the hemophilia market, with two long-acting treatments for the bleeding disorder. The FDA approved one of them already--Alprolix, for hemophilia B--and the other, Eloctate, is well on its way. Eloctate treats hemophilia A, a much larger market, and the two drugs promise to amp up the competition in both areas. Significantly, Biogen chose to price Alprolix on par with existing treatments, making sure that a pricing premium won't stand in the way of its adoption.

Another important choice from Scangos was to delay the European rollout of Tecfidera to make sure that the drug would be fully protected under IP law. The protections all sewn up, Biogen launched Tecfidera on the continent earlier this year; eventually, the European market is expected to account for 40% of the drug's sales.

Oh, and amid all this activity, Scangos found time to not only move Biogen back to Cambridge from its recently built HQ in Weston, MA, but also adopt "a new way of working" there with an open-office, collaboration-friendly space. No word on how employees like the space, but Scangos must be doing something right on the company-culture side; a recent study found that Biogen is among the most sought-after employers in the biopharma business. -- Tracy Staton (email | Twitter)

For more:
Special Reports: 20 Highest-Paid Biopharma CEOs of 2012 - George Scangos - Biogen Idec | George Scangos - The 25 most influential people in biopharma today
The price is right for patient-switching on Biogen's new hemophilia med Alprolix
Biogen's Alprolix nod is just the first tremor in a hemophilia market shake-up
Biogen Idec taps brakes on EU launch of oral MS drug Tecfidera
Why George Scangos deserves credit for Biogen's hot streak

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10. George Scangos - Biogen Idec