13. Leonard Bell - Alexion

Leonard Bell
Founder, Alexion
Total Compensation: $13.389 million

Professional Profile: As the principal founder of Alexion ($ALXN) and one of the scientists who developed sole revenue source Soliris, Leonard Bell has been with the biotech through it all. Before launching the company in 1992--and taking it public in 1996--he served as an assistant professor of medicine and pathology at Yale University School of Medicine, where he currently serves as an adjunct assistant professor.

Company Profile: When you've only got one product on the market, its sales are critically important. Revenue for ultrarare-disease drug Soliris--the most expensive med in the world--climbed to $1.55 billion for the year, a 37% top-line bump over last year.

But there were some ups and downs along the way. The company hit a couple of manufacturing snafus, in August recalling and replacing remaining vials in a single lot of Soliris after finding visible particles in a small number of them. Another recall followed in November on account of similar particles.

M&A rumors also swirled around the company for the better part of the year, with analysts listing Roche ($RHHBY) as a potential suitor. While news of Roche's interest--and reports that Alexion had brought in Goldman Sachs to advise it after Roche's informal approach--sparked share price surges, a deal never materialized. And in September, the Swiss company's pharma chief, Daniel O'Day, threw cold water on the idea, calling ultrarare-disease drugs a "complementary but different business than we are in at Roche today."

One development that still has investors happy was Alexion's decision to open a global supply chain facility, as well as a new office and laboratory facility, in Dublin, Ireland. Last year, Alexion began the process of recruiting about 50 employees for initial positions in areas like quality assurance and logistics, and since then it's also purchased a vial-filling facility there and transferred some IP rights abroad. The result, company CFO Vikas Sinha said in early 2014, will be an advantaged tax rate that runs 10% to 11%--numbers investors cheered.

The year ended on another high note for the Connecticut-based company, this time coming in the regulatory arena. The drugmaker snagged its second breakthrough therapy designation from the FDA, locking up a fast-tracked regulatory pathway for ALXN1101, an early-phase enzyme-replacement treatment targeting an ultrarare metabolic disorder. -- Carly Helfand (email | Twitter)

For more:
Special Report: 20 Highest-Paid Biopharma CEOs of 2012 - Leonard Bell - Alexion Pharmaceuticals
Alexion recalls more Soliris
Alexion bags another FDA 'breakthrough' for rare-disease drug
Alexion recalls some Soliris vials from international markets
Report: Alexion taps financial advisers for potential Roche deal

13. Leonard Bell - Alexion
Read more on

Suggested Articles

The FDA has granted Amarin's Vascepa a possible blockbuster label expansion for CV risk reduction in patients with or without CV disease.

In a high-stakes patent lawsuit between CAR-T companies Bristol-Myers Squibb and Gilead Sciences, BMS has come up with a victory. 

It’s been a year of ups and downs for Pfizer’s Xeljanz. But the company is hoping to close on a high note, with help from a new extended-release pill.