Chairman and CEO, Regeneron
Total 2014 Compensation: $41.97 million
Schleifer may have popped up on our CEO pay list just a few years ago--and stayed at or near the top--but he's been plugging away at Regeneron ($REGN) since he founded the company in 1988. He brought on R&D chief George Yancopoulos and opened labs in Tarrytown, NY, the same year. Its rare disease med Arcalyst won FDA approval in 2008, but all that work didn't deliver a big sales bang till its eye drug Eylea won approval in 2011. Marketed with Bayer, the injection competes with Roche ($RHHBY) and Novartis' ($NVS) Lucentis in a slate of indications beginning with age-related macular degeneration.
And what a competitor it has been. Eylea quickly surged to blockbuster-level sales, earning a spot among FiercePharma's top 20 drug launch superstars. In 2014, it brought in $1.74 billion for Regeneron, a 23% increase year over year.
Up next is Praluent, a drug that might match Eylea for launch power. Developed with Sanofi ($SNY), it's one of two high-profile cholesterol-fighters expected to hit the ground running when approved later this summer. Praluent will have to compete head-to-head with Amgen's ($AMGN) Repatha, but both meds are projected to surpass the $1 billion mark. Just how quickly depends on the details of their FDA-approved labels, but eventually, the entire PCSK9 class is expected to hit $10 billion.
Schleifer may stand at the peak of 2014 pharma pay, but he didn't collect much of it in cash. His base salary and bonus together amounted to just over $3 million. Perks, either: The company stopped paying him an automobile allowance, covering club membership dues and shelling out for annual credit card fees. The big bucks came in the form of options, which were valued at $38.6 million.
Special Reports: 15 Highest-Paid Biopharma CEOs of 2013 - Leonard "Len" Schleifer - Regeneron | Top 15 Drug Launch Superstars - Eylea
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