Eli Lilly CEO David Ricks (Evan Vucci/AP Images)

Eli Lil­ly's David Ricks snared $24M pay pack­age in a year tur­bo-boost­ed by Covid-19 an­ti­body

Boost­ed by boom­ing sales of its Covid-19 an­ti­body bam­lanivimab, Eli Lil­ly post­ed dou­ble-dig­it growth in 2020 de­spite a more steady show­ing from its lega­cy port­fo­lio. In his fourth year at the helm, CEO David Ricks will tout 2020 as a win — par­tic­u­lar­ly for his pock­et­book.

Ricks se­cured $23.7 mil­lion in pay in 2020, a rough­ly 11% bump from the pre­vi­ous year, the In­di­anapo­lis drug­mak­er dis­closed in a proxy fil­ing with the SEC.

Most of that bump was tied to in­creas­es in Ricks’ pen­sion val­ue as well as his stock awards. The four-year helms­man snared $13.6 mil­lion in stock, or about $1.3 mil­lion more than 2019. Ricks’ base salary saw a small in­crease to $1.48 mil­lion — a lit­tle more than the $1.4 mil­lion flat he bagged in 2019.

In a year light on trav­el, Ricks al­so racked up about $40,000 in cor­po­rate air ex­pens­es, Lil­ly said, which in­cludes pay­ing the crew, fu­el­ing and “on-board cater­ing,” among oth­er fees.

It was a big year for Ricks as Lil­ly over­saw the de­vel­op­ment and com­mer­cial­iza­tion of LY-CoV5555 (bam­lanivimab), a Covid-19 an­ti­body that is one of few mol­e­cules ap­proved for emer­gency use in the US. On the year, bam­lanivimab snared $871 mil­lion in sales — near­ly a block­buster de­spite what has been less-than-stel­lar up­take for an­ti­bod­ies across the board.

With bam­lanivimab in the fold, Lil­ly saw a 10% in­crease in sales in 2020 to $24.54 mil­lion. But out­side of its an­ti­body, the pic­ture at Lil­ly is a lit­tle less clear. Bam­lanivimab not in­clud­ed, Lil­ly’s sales jumped just 6% on the year — well with­in range for Big Phar­ma but not quite the dou­ble-dig­it growth that catch­es eye­balls.

Anat Ashke­nazi

Ricks is al­so like­ly sting­ing from the ouster of his CFO Josh Smi­ley, who was kicked out of the com­pa­ny this month — and stripped of around $24 mil­lion in pay — for an “in­ap­pro­pri­ate mes­sages” scan­dal with oth­er em­ploy­ees. Lil­ly said Smi­ley will be “avail­able” to Ricks and new CFO Anat Ashke­nazi through Ju­ly of this year on re­duced bi­week­ly pay of $9,000. Lil­ly will still hold on to its 24-month non-so­lic­i­ta­tion agree­ment in Smi­ley’s con­tract as well as an 18-month non-com­pe­ti­tion pact.

Smi­ley was Ricks’ hand­picked ap­pointee for CFO back in 2017 as the then-new CEO looked to re­work Lil­ly’s stag­nant busi­ness plan. One of Lil­ly’s home­grown suc­cess sto­ries, Ricks start­ed on with the drug­mak­er back in 1996 as a busi­ness de­vel­op­ment as­so­ciate be­fore steadi­ly ris­ing through the ranks over the course of 25 years.

The top 100 bio­phar­ma VCs, Bob Brad­way places $2B bet in can­cer, gene edit­ing pi­o­neer's new big idea, and more

Welcome back to Endpoints Weekly, your review of the week’s top biopharma headlines. Want this in your inbox every Saturday morning? Current Endpoints readers can visit their reader profile to add Endpoints Weekly. New to Endpoints? Sign up here.

Before diving in, we had some news to share: Endpoints is launching a premium weekly report focusing on all things regulatory. Coverage will be led by our new senior editor, Zachary Brennan, who joins us from POLITICO. Arsalan Arif has more details in his Publisher’s Note.

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Robert Bradway (Photographer: Scott Eisen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

UP­DAT­ED: Am­gen snaps up can­cer drug play­er Five Prime, adding PhI­II-ready FGFR2b drug in $2B M&A play

Amgen is making a long-awaited move on the M&A side, buying South San Francisco-based Five Prime $FPRX for close to $2 billion and adding a slate of new cancer drugs to the pipeline.

Amgen is paying $38 a share, putting the deal value at $1.9 billion. The stock closed at $21.26 last night, giving investors a 78% premium.

The jewel in the crown of this deal is bemarituzumab, which Amgen describes as a first-in-class, Phase III-ready anti-FGFR2b antibody. Amgen was drawn to the bargaining table by Five Prime’s mid-stage data on gastric cancer, satisfied by PFS and OS data helping to validate FGFR2b as a target. Amgen researchers will now expand on the R&D program in other epithelial cancers, including lung, breast, ovarian and other cancers.

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David Liu (Casey Atkins Photography courtesy Broad Institute)

David Liu has a new big idea: pro­teome edit­ing. It could one day shred tau, RAS and some of the worst dis­ease-caus­ing pro­teins

Before David Liu became famous for inventing new forms of gene editing, he was known around academia in part for a more obscure innovation: a Rube Goldberg-esque system that uses bacteria-infecting viruses to take one protein and turn it into another.

Since 2011, Liu’s lab has used the system, called PACE, to dream up fantastical new proteins: DNA base editors far more powerful than the original; more versatile forms of the gene editor Cas9; insecticides that kill insecticide-resistant bugs; enzymes that slide synthetic amino acids into living organisms. But they struggled throughout to master one of the most common and powerful proteins in the biological world: proteases, a set of Swiss army knife enzymes that cut, cleave or shred other proteins in everything from viruses to humans.

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The 2021 top 100 bio­phar­ma in­vestors: As the pan­dem­ic hit and IPOs boomed, VCs swung in­to ac­tion like nev­er be­fore

The global pandemic may have roiled economies, killed hundreds of thousands and throttled entire industries, but the only effect it had on biopharma venture investing was to help turbocharge the field to giddy new heights.

Below you’ll find the new top 100 venture investors in the industry, ranked by the number of deals they were publicly involved in, as tracked by DealForma chief Chris Dokomajilar. The numbers master then calculated the estimated amount of money they put into each deal — divvying up the cash by the number of players — to indicate how they managed their syndicates.

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Paul Hudson, Getty Images

How does Paul Hud­son's $13.5M comp pack­age stack up against oth­er CEOs? He's in the 'first quar­tile'

Paul Hudson arrived at Sanofi like a hurricane, chopping off duds in the pipeline, shaking up the C-suite, striking big M&A deals and jumping into the Covid-19 vaccine race — all in an attempt to reboot a pharma giant notorious for its setbacks.

Now, we’re getting a look at what the CEO brought home in his first year on the job.

When all is said and done, Hudson will have made about $6.7 million in 2020, about $2.5 million of which has already been paid. The bigger figure includes a $2.3 million bonus that’s subject to approval at an April meeting, and another $1.8 million in variable compensation that has yet to be paid.

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Bruce Cozadd, Jazz CEO (Jazz Pharmaceuticals)

Jazz CEO Bruce Cozadd cam­paigned for 6 months to buy GW Phar­ma. A 90% pre­mi­um sealed the deal — along with $17.6M in ‘re­ten­tion’ in­cen­tives

Jazz CEO Bruce Cozadd didn’t beat around the bush.

In his first video meeting with GW Pharma chief Justin Gover last July 8, he offered to pay $172 a share to get the company, which had beaten the odds in getting its remarkable cannabinoid drug Epidiolex across the regulatory finish line for epilepsy. GW’s stock closed at $129 that day.

Cozadd had already done his homework on the financing to make sure he could swing it the way he wanted. He just needed to do some due diligence before making the non-binding bid firm.

UP­DAT­ED: Not 3 weeks af­ter tak­ing Hu­ma­cyte pub­lic, Ra­jiv Shuk­la launch­es an­oth­er blank check com­pa­ny

One of biotech’s earliest SPAC investors is back with another blank-check company, less than a month after his last effort announced its intent to merge.

Rajiv Shukla is intending to take a third lucky winner public with Alpha Healthcare Acquisition III, filing to go public Thursday with a $150 million raise penciled in. The move comes just a couple of weeks after Shukla’s second SPAC said it would jump to Nasdaq in tandem with Laura Niklason’s Humacyte in a $255 million new investment.

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An Ar­ray co-founder re-emerges as CEO of a small aca­d­e­m­ic spin­out, look­ing to re­make an old class of can­cer drugs

Tony Piscopio hadn’t worked as a bench scientist in years when, around 2011, he got put in touch with a team at the University of Colorado trying to revitalize an old approach to treating cancer.

Piscopio, who had co-founded Array Biopharma before heading to South Korea to launch a new company, was back in the states, unattached and intrigued. He founded a three-person company with two professors, Xuedong Liu and Gail Eckhardt, and while they worked on the biology side, he returned to his old chemist chair and began drawing up potential compounds on a computer, along with manufacturing processes to make them. Outsourcing companies synthesized or analyzed the results.

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Af­ter three years of courtship (and turn­downs), Mer­ck pounced on the first glance of clin­i­cal da­ta in $1.85B Pan­dion takeover

It’s almost become cliché for biotech executives to talk about the importance of keeping your options open and being prepared to go all the way. But when it comes to negotiating with a giant like Merck, a little patience can indeed go a long way.

Just ask Pandion Therapeutics.

Days ago we already learned that Merck is shelling out $1.85 billion to pick up the biotech and its slate of autoimmune hopefuls. What we didn’t know until the SEC disclosure dropped Thursday is that the deal comes after Pandion turned down two other proposals from Merck over the past three years and held out until the last minute for a sweetened deal.

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