Founder and CEO, United Therapeutics
Total 2014 Compensation: $33.21 million
Last year, Martine Rothblatt wasn't just the highest-paid female CEO in biopharma, but in the U.S., period. This year's total is down slightly--to $33 million from $38 million in 2013--but she's still the best-paid female in the industry. She's also a transgender woman, a fact that landed her on the cover of New York magazine last year.
Rothblatt isn't a career pharma exec; she made a fortune with Sirius radio, moving into the drug business only after her daughter Jenesis was diagnosed with primary pulmonary hypertension. At the time, the only treatment was an IV drug from GlaxoSmithKline ($GSK). United Therapeutics ($UTHR) launched Remodulin, another injectable remedy, in 2009, and after two rejections, finally won FDA approval for an oral version, Orenitram, at the end of 2013.
The company now sells three products for pulmonary hypertension, Remodulin, Adcirca and Orenitram, which together brought in $272 million in 2014, with $20.4 million of that from the brand-new Orenitram. The pill is approved for a very narrow indication, but an ongoing study, if successful, could take it to a much broader market.
Earlier this year, the company nabbed another approval--Unituxin, to treat a rare form of pediatric cancer. It's also working on something quite different, in partnership with the prominent geneticist and serial biotech entrepreneur J. Craig Venter: developing a method for using pig lungs for human transplant.
The lion's share of Rothblatt's 2014 pay--$29.46 million--came in the form of option awards, with her base salary amounting to $1.02 million and nonequity incentive pay of $1.07 million. Pension and deferred compensation earnings added another $1.63 million, with car and travel expenses of $23,263 making up the rest.
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