14. Robert Bradway, Amgen
2018 pay: $18.56 million
2017 pay: $16.90 million
Amgen faces its fair share of competitive challenges, but in 2018, the company turned in sales and earnings growth, scored an important drug approval and advanced its pipeline. All of that progress played a role in CEO Bob Bradway’s first big raise since 2015.
All told, Bradway's 2018 pay of $18.6 million jumped 10% over his 2017 haul of $16.9 million, Amgen said in a proxy filing. His salary grew minimally to $1.57 million, while his annual incentive bonus grew to nearly $3.9 million from $2.7 million. Bradway’s stock and option awards each grew, though not as much; they came in at $8.75 million and $3.75 million, respectively.
The total ranks Bradway 14th among the best-paid biopharma CEOs, behind Vertex’s Jeffrey Leiden and ahead of Seattle Genetics’ Clay Siegall.
Bradway led the company to beat its own revenue and earnings benchmarks for 2018, Amgen said in its proxy, touting $23.75 billion in revenue for the year compared with a $21.99 billion target set for compensation purposes. Net income beat the goal, too, at $9.6 billion compared with an $8.68 billion target.
But Amgen fell short in boosting sales of three key launches: cholesterol drug Repatha, which has been a tough sell despite a couple of price cuts; its bone drug Prolia; and its multiple myeloma therapy Kyprolis.
On the R&D side, Amgen moved two programs into late-stage testing and started 10 new first-in-human studies, among other developments, the proxy states. And it wrapped up FDA filings for several drugs, including new uses for bone drug Xgeva and cancer therapy Blincyto. The drugmaker also scored FDA approval for CGRP migraine prevention drug Aimovig.
Bradway’s pay bump represents his first significant raise since 2015, when his total came in at $16.1 million, up from $13.9 million the year before. And the latest hike followed a year when Amgen's share price grew about 10%.
Looking ahead, though, competitive challenges to some of the company’s big sellers are picking up steam. Anemia drug Epogen and white blood cell booster Neulasta are both facing off against U.S. biosimiliar competition, and generics to Sensipar launched earlier this year. Amgen actually expects 2019 sales to decline, to somewhere between $21.8 billion to $22.9 billion.
Amgen has its own biosim unit, though, plus new launches in Aimovig and Parsabiv. Each is expected to generate growth as older drugs cede sales to biosimilars and generics.