George Yancopoulos (L) and Len Schleifer (Regeneron)

Re­gen­eron's Len Schleifer, George Yan­copou­los start their am­bi­tious 5-year plan, earn­ing a front-loaded $270M com­bined

As biotech whiz kid Re­gen­eron pre­pares to move in­to the next phase of its growth, found­ing part­ners Len Schleifer and George Yan­copou­los placed a big bet on them­selves late last year with a long-term per­for­mance plan worth a po­ten­tial $1.4 bil­lion. Now — with those front-loaded, con­di­tion­al stock awards in the bank —can both men stick the land­ing?

Schleifer and Yan­copou­los earned $135 mil­lion and $134 mil­lion, re­spec­tive­ly, in 2020 on the back of the New York drug­mak­er’s work ad­vanc­ing one of the ear­li­est an­ti­body cock­tails for Covid-19 through an FDA emer­gency use au­tho­riza­tion, ac­cord­ing to a proxy fil­ing with the SEC.

Those are pay pack­ages that would eas­i­ly rank among the high­est in the For­tune 500 — but the fig­ures are slight­ly mis­lead­ing. Both Schleifer and Yan­copou­los earned a $130 mil­lion stock award in 2020 tied to five-year per­for­mance share units (PSU) that will cash out in De­cem­ber 2028 af­ter a three-year hold­ing pe­ri­od.

The cur­rent val­ue of those PSUs for each ex­ec­u­tive is $130 mil­lion, but as part of a re­jig­gered com­pen­sa­tion pack­age ap­proved by Re­gen­eron’s board, those units could end up much more valu­able. The board set tiered mile­stones for both ex­ec­u­tives’ pos­si­ble awards with a tar­get goal of cu­mu­la­tive 65.6% growth over five years. Hit­ting that num­ber on the nose would earn both Schleifer and Yan­copou­los a cool $196.5 mil­lion each.

But on the ab­solute high end of what the board thinks is pos­si­ble — 140% share growth over five years at a 19.2% an­nu­al rate — both Schleifer and Yan­copou­los would be due a whop­ping $713.3 mil­lion each. Even if Re­gen­eron doesn’t hit the award thresh­old of 31.3% growth over the next five years, Schleifer and Yan­copou­los can still earn half of the 248,108 PSU tar­get fig­ure if the drug­mak­er’s share price out­per­forms the Nas­daq Biotech­nol­o­gy In­dex by 200 ba­sis points over that time. That would al­so be no easy task as the in­dex has seen near­ly 50% growth over the past five years.

Hit­ting that top-end fig­ure, equiv­a­lent to a $1,150 share price, will take some do­ing as the com­pa­ny’s shares have trad­ed most­ly flat over the pre­vi­ous five years. Since Ju­ly, the com­pa­ny’s shares have de­clined rough­ly 28% from a peak of $658.21 dur­ing the hype over its an­ti­body cock­tail for Covid-19.

As it stands, Schleifer and Yan­copou­los are due a big pay­check ei­ther way in 2028 in lieu of the typ­i­cal an­nu­al in­cen­tives. Mean­while, both ex­ec­u­tives’ base salary saw a slight bump in 2020, with Schleifer earn­ing $1.48 mil­lion and Yan­copou­los $1.17 mil­lion.

In terms of the usu­al perks, both ex­ec­u­tives’ bills ac­tu­al­ly went down on the year, with Schleifer tak­ing home about $300,000 and Yan­copou­los $120,000. Re­gen­eron cov­ers both cor­po­rate air trav­el as well as pri­vate air trav­el for both men as well as their spous­es and chil­dren, the fil­ing said.

Mean­while, as Re­gen­eron raced to de­vel­op its Covid-19 an­ti­body pair, both men were al­so de­tailed se­cu­ri­ty in No­vem­ber 2020, adding on to their pre­ex­ist­ing res­i­den­tial se­cu­ri­ty and se­cure car trans­porta­tion. Oth­er play­ers in the Covid-19 re­sponse — Mod­er­na’s Stéphane Ban­cel, for in­stance — were giv­en sim­i­lar de­tails for their safe­guard­ing.

How Pa­tients with Epilep­sy Ben­e­fit from Re­al-World Da­ta

Amanda Shields, Principal Data Scientist, Scientific Data Steward

Keith Wenzel, Senior Business Operations Director

Andy Wilson, Scientific Lead

Real-world data (RWD) has the potential to transform the drug development industry’s efforts to predict and treat seizures for patients with epilepsy. Anticipating or controlling an impending seizure can significantly increase quality of life for patients with epilepsy. However, because RWD is secondary data originally collected for other purposes, the challenge is selecting, harmonizing, and analyzing the data from multiple sources in a way that helps support patients.

Jason Kelly, Ginkgo Bioworks CEO (Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

UP­DAT­ED: Gink­go Bioworks re­sizes the de­f­i­n­i­tion of go­ing big in biotech, rais­ing $2.5B in a record SPAC deal that weighs in with a whop­ping $15B-plus val­u­a­tion

Ginkgo Bioworks execs always thought big. But today should redefine just how big an upstart biotech player can dream.

In the largest SPAC deal to clear the hurdles to Nasdaq, the biotech that envisioned everything from remaking synthetic meat to a whole new approach to developing drugs has joined forces with one of the biggest disruptors in biotech to slam the Richter scale on dealmaking.

Soon after becoming the darling of the VC crew and clearing the bar on a $4 billion valuation, Ginkgo — a synthetic biotech player out to reprogram cells with industrial efficiency — has now struck a deal to go public in the latest leviathan SPAC that sets its pre-money valuation at $15 billion. In one swift vault, Ginkgo will combine with Harry Sloan’s Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. and leap into the public markets.

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FDA un­veils six ICH guide­lines ahead of meet­ing with Health Cana­da

A sign that the FDA’s non-Covid-related processes are beginning to normalize: The release of six guidelines from the International Council of Harmonisation.

Years in development, the ICH documents offer an international perspective on drug development, with these latest guidelines covering everything from recommendations to support the classification of drug substances, featured in the M9 guidance, to standards for nonclinical safety studies for pediatric medicines in the S11 guideline.

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Sanofi, Glax­o­SmithK­line, Boehringer ac­cused of play­ing games, de­stroy­ing emails re­lat­ed to law­suit over con­t­a­m­i­nat­ed Zan­tac

A recent court filing raises new questions about how major pharma companies like Sanofi, GlaxoSmithKline, and Boehringer Ingelheim have dealt with a lawsuit related to recalls of certain over-the-counter heartburn drugs due to the presence of a potentially cancer-causing substance found in them.

More than 70,000 people who took Sanofi’s Zantac and other heartburn drugs containing ranitidine, which have been recalled over the past two years, have sued the manufacturers, including generic drugmakers, and other retailers and distributors as part of a consolidated suit before US District Court Judge Robin Rosenberg in Florida.

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Stephen Squinto, Gennao Bio CEO (Gennao)

Alex­ion co-founder Stephen Squin­to is back in the game as CEO, this time for a small gene ther­a­py play­er

With his name already behind a rare disease success story in Alexion, Stephen Squinto was looking for a great story to drive him to jump back into the biotech game. He found that in a fledging non-viral gene therapy company, and now he’s got a few backers on board as well.

On Tuesday, Gennao Bio launched with a $40 million Series A co-led by OrbiMed and Logos Capital with participation by Surveyor Capital. The biotech, which is looking to use its cell-penetrating antibody platform to deliver nucleic acid “payloads” during into the nucleus, had to rush for its initial series — and had a name change along the way.

Alvotech takes Ab­b­Vie to court over al­leged patent 'mine­field' sur­round­ing megablock­buster Hu­mi­ra

AbbVie has so far been successful in shooing away competition to its megablockbuster Humira, deploying a number of patents and settlements to keep biosimilars off the US market until 2023. But one Icelandic drugmaker doesn’t want to wait — and on Tuesday, it filed a lawsuit challenging what it called a patent “minefield.”

Alvotech has accused AbbVie of trying to “overwhelm” and “intimidate” it with “an outrageous number of patents of dubious validity,” according to court documents. The company is currently seeking approval for its Humira copycat AVT02, which AbbVie says would infringe upon 62 patents.

Luisa Salter-Cid, Pioneering Medicines CSO (Credit: Bristol Myers Squibb via Twitter)

Luisa Salter-Cid joins long­time Bris­tol My­ers col­lab­o­ra­tor Paul Bion­di at Flag­ship's new drug brew­ery

Paul Biondi is gaining a familiar research chief at his corner of Flagship Pioneering.

The ambitious VC — famous for bold platform plays such as Moderna — said Luisa Salter-Cid is joining Pioneering Medicines as CSO, with the mandate of leveraging the platforms of various Flagship portfolio companies to conceive new treatments.

The two had crossed paths at Bristol Myers Squibb, where Biondi brought in a series of new drugs throughout his prolific business development stretch while Salter-Cid worked her way up the ladder to become head of immunology, small molecule immuno-oncology and genomics discovery.

Chris Garabedian (Xontogeny)

Per­cep­tive Ad­vi­sors, Xon­toge­ny bring the band back and then some with a $515M sec­ond fund sniff­ing out lead com­pounds

When Perceptive Advisors and startup accelerator Xontogeny initially teamed up on an early-stage VC round in 2019, the partners hoped to prove their investments could be a force multiplier for early-stage companies. Now, with that proof of concept behind them, the pair have closed a second VC round worth more than double the money.

Dubbed PXV Fund II and headed by Xontogeny CEO and former Sarepta head Chris Garabedian, the $515 million fund will target 10 to 12 early-stage preclinical companies with Series A rounds in the $20 million to $40 million range with opportunities for Series B follow-ups. The oversubscribed fund is bringing the band back with initial investors from PXVI as well as new investors that include “top-tier” asset managers, endowments, foundations, family offices, and individual investors.

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A clos­er look at the FDA’s more than 700 pan­dem­ic-re­lat­ed record re­quests to re­place on­site in­spec­tions

As the pandemic constrained the FDA’s ability to travel for onsite manufacturing inspections, the agency increasingly turned to requesting records to fill the gap, even for hundreds of US-based facilities.

FDA explains in its guidance on manufacturing inspections during the pandemic that the agency can request records (not to be confused with the FDA’s remote interactive evaluations) directly from facilities “in advance of or in lieu of” certain onsite inspections. Companies are legally required to fulfill those requests because a denial may be considered limiting an inspection, which could lead to the FDA deeming a drug made at that site to be adulterated.

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