4. Len Schleifer, Regeneron
2018 pay: $26.52 million
2017 pay: $26.51 million
Change: Less than 1%
As its blockbuster wet AMD drug Eylea came to dominate the market over the last several years, Regeneron has compensated its top executives well. For CEO Len Schleifer, 2018 was another good year.
Schleifer, 66, the founder and longtime head of Regeneron, received $26.52 million in total compensation for 2018, according to the company's proxy filing. That's less than a 1% increase from his $26,508,058 pay in 2017 but still enough to rank him among the five highest-paid CEOs in the industry.
While Schleifer saw a bump in base salary on the year, a dip in his stock option awards largely offset those gains. Schleifer's base salary in 2018 was $1.33 million—a 3.5% increase from the year before—while his stock options were valued at $21.34 million, a 2.9% decrease on the year.
Schleifer’s cash bonus—tied to Regeneron’s financial performance—jumped from $2.47 million in 2017 to $2.95 million, a 19.7% increase. That significant boost was tied to the continued success of Eylea, which scored a 9% increase in first-quarter 2019 sales at $1.1 billion worldwide, and the boosted uptake of asthma and eczema drug Dupixent, which is also in phase 3 clinical trials for COPD.
In the "other compensation" category, Schleifer recorded $250,000 in paid corporate travel expenses. That’s the same amount as the year before.
Regeneron does face some challenges ahead. Its PCSK9 drug Praluent is still languishing behind Amgen's rival Repatha, for one thing. But Eylea could run into some trouble of its own. Novartis’ potential rival brolucizumab won an FDA priority review that could clear the way for a launch as early as October. And Novartis would be eager to start pilfering sales from Regeneron and Roche’s Lucentis, the other current competitor in the market.