2016 didn’t turn out quite the way Len Schleifer and Regeneron might have hoped on New Year’s Day.
The company’s PCSK9 cholesterol drug, Praluent, lagged far behind early blockbusetter expectations. It lost a patent trial on the same med, to rival PCSK9 drugmaker Amgen, in a decision that presaged even more patent pressure in 2017. The FDA rejected its rheumatoid arthritis drug sarilumab—shared, like Praluent, with Sanofi—on manufacturing problems at a fill-finish plant in France.
Regeneron investors didn’t take the news well. After a seemingly relentless uphill climb since 2010, shares began to slide in late November 2015, ended that year in the $540 range, and continued to drop until closing at $367.09 on Dec. 30, 2016. Regeneron shares lost 32% of their value over the course of 2016, the company’s proxy filing said.
And that’s why Schleifer’s pay declined in 2016, and not for the most common reason. Share price typically figures into the calculations that determine cash incentive pay, options, stock awards and performance-share vesting. Schleifer only gets incentive pay and options. And though the number of options he collected for 2016 dropped by just 15%, their total value at the award date—$24.63 million—was 43% less than the worth of his 2015 options when they were granted.
Here’s how the rest of Schleifer’s 2016 compensation broke down. His base salary amounted to $1.24 million, up $142,000 from 2015. He picked up $2.24 million in incentive pay and $228,908 in other compensation, including $158,000 worth of personal aircraft use.
Schleifer’s options are already worth more than they were. Sarilumab has since been approved—as Kevzara—and the partners’ highly anticipated atopic dermatitis med Dupixent (dupilumab) as well. Those nods have apparently outweighed the worries about the Praluent patent fight. By early June, Regeneron shares had risen above $285.