Sarep­ta CEO Doug In­gram scored a chart-top­ping $57M com­pen­sa­tion deal in 2017. Earn­ing it won’t be easy

Last sum­mer, when ex-Al­ler­gan pres­i­dent Doug In­gram was re­cruit­ed for the top job at Sarep­ta $SRPT, the board set some big goals for the new CEO. And they put up some ex­tra­or­di­nar­i­ly big re­wards if he achieves them.

Doug In­gram

In­gram’s to­tal com­pen­sa­tion pack­age for the sec­ond half stretch when he was at the helm is worth $56,866,241 — far out­strip­ping any oth­er pay deal out­lined in bio­phar­ma for 2017. There’s about $11 mil­lion in stock awards. The li­on’s share — $44 mil­lion — is in stock op­tions. If he achieves his mis­sion in build­ing the com­pa­ny, and his stock vests, he would end up with as much as 6.6% of the com­pa­ny. Falling short, though, would push that down to as lit­tle as noth­ing.

But it won’t be easy. From the proxy:

In or­der for the per­for­mance-based op­tion award to ful­ly vest, our stock would need to in­crease by at least 438% in the 5-year pe­ri­od fol­low­ing the grant date (from $34.65 to ap­prox­i­mate­ly $186.5 per share), and the Com­pa­ny’s share price CA­GR would need to ex­ceed the CA­GR of the NAS­DAQ Biotech In­dex by at least 5% in the same pe­ri­od. Im­por­tant­ly, the use of the Biotech In­dex en­sures that Mr. In­gram can­not ben­e­fit from stock ap­pre­ci­a­tion re­sult­ing mere­ly from mar­ket fac­tors, but in fact must beat the per­for­mance of oth­er com­pa­nies in the sec­tor.  These high thresh­olds are de­signed to in­cen­tivize our new Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer to fo­cus on the Com­pa­ny’s growth and how it can out­per­form its peers over a 5-year pe­ri­od.

Un­der­scor­ing the chal­lenges he faces, Sarep­ta shares slumped on Thurs­day as the com­pa­ny man­aged to dis­ap­point an­a­lysts on its sales rev­enue for the Duchenne MD drug eteplirsen, as well as word that Eu­ro­pean reg­u­la­tors are lin­ing up a re­jec­tion for the drug that will mark a con­sid­er­able set­back for the biotech.

Ed Kaye

Sarep­ta, though, has man­aged to suc­ceed in the face of ex­tra­or­di­nary odds. Just get­ting an ap­proval at the FDA re­quired a dog fight among agency reg­u­la­tors, which Janet Wood­cock emerged tri­umphant in push­ing through an OK de­spite a thin and ques­tion­able ap­pli­ca­tion pack­age that would have doomed vir­tu­al­ly any oth­er pitch.

Ed Kaye, who was at the helm at Sarep­ta when the FDA Hail Mary land­ed, had a com­pen­sa­tion pack­age worth $3.4 mil­lion in 2016. And the board’s gen­eros­i­ty in pump­ing up In­gram’s deal didn’t ex­tend to any of the oth­er top ex­ecs at the com­pa­ny.

In the mean­time, Doug In­gram outscored Mar­tine Roth­blatt, Brent Saun­ders and the whole host of top 15 CEOs in nail­ing down a com­pen­sa­tion pack­age that will like­ly stand un­ri­valed in 2017. 

FDA commissioner Stephen Hahn at the White House (AP Images)

Un­der fire, FDA to is­sue stricter guid­ance for Covid-19 vac­cine EUA this week — re­port

The FDA has been insisting for months that a Covid-19 vaccine had to be at least 50% effective – a measure of transparency meant to shore public trust in the agency and in a vaccine that had been brought forward at record speed and record political pressure. But now, with concerns of a Trump-driven authorization arriving before the election, the agency may be raising the bar.

The FDA is set to release new guidance that would raise safety and efficacy requirements for a vaccine EUA above earlier guidance and above the criteria used for convalescent plasma or hydroxychloroquine, The Washington Post reported. Experts say this significantly lowers the odds of an approval before the election on November 3, which Trump has promised despite vocal concerns from public health officials.

Secretary of health and human services Alex Azar speaking in the Rose Garden at the White House (Photo: AFP)

Trump’s HHS claims ab­solute au­thor­i­ty over the FDA, clear­ing path to a vac­cine EUA

The top career staff at the FDA has vowed not to let politics overrule science when looking at vaccine data this fall. But Alex Azar, who happens to be their boss’s boss, apparently won’t even give them a chance to stand in the way.

In a new memorandum issued Tuesday last week, the HHS chief stripped the FDA and other health agencies under his purview of their rule making ability, asserting all such power “is reserved to the Secretary.” Sheila Kaplan of the New York Times first obtained and reported the details of the September 15 bulletin.

Anthony Coyle (Repertoire)

Flag­ship's merged biotech Reper­toire nets ex-Pfiz­er CSO An­tho­ny Coyle as R&D chief

Flagship is building a big-name C-suite at its new, $220 million merged biotech.

Repertoire Immune Medicines, which already boasts former Bioverativ chief John Cox as its CEO, announced yesterday that Anthony Coyle, the former Pfizer CSO and the founding CEO of Pandion, will join as their head of R&D.

“As we progress clinical trials for our multi-clonal T cell candidates in immuno-oncology, Tony’s deep expertise in cellular immunology and novel therapeutic development will help us achieve our vision of creating a new class of transformative medicines for patients,” Cox said in a statement.

Samit Hirawat (Bristol Myers Squibb)

Af­ter bruis­ing re­jec­tion, blue­bird and Bris­tol My­ers Squibb land ide-cel pri­or­i­ty re­view. But will it mat­ter for the CVR?

With the clock all but up, the FDA accepted and handed priority review to Bristol Myers Squibb and bluebird bio’s BCMA CAR-T, keeping a narrow window open for Celgene investors to still cash in on the $9 CVR from the $63 billion Celgene merger.

The acceptance comes five months after the two companies weres slammed with a surprise refuse-to-file that threatened to foreclose the CVR entirely. Today’s acceptance sets the FDA decision date for March 27, 2021 – or precisely 4 days before the CVR deadline of March 31. Given the breakthrough designation and strong pivotal data — 81.5% response rate, 35.2% complete response rate — priority review was largely expected.

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Blueprint CEO Jeff Albers (file photo)

Blue­print plots re­turn to FDA with new Ay­vak­it da­ta in rare con­di­tion — and the an­a­lysts cheer

Over a decade after launch, Blueprint Medicines nabbed the first approval for their first drug earlier this year. Now, as they move forward with a Roche-partnered global launch, they’re touting data that could push them into more patients.

The Jeff Albers-led Cambridge biotech released their full pivotal data for Ayvakit in patients with advanced systemic mastocytosis. In one 53-person study, they showed that 76% of patients responded to the drug, 36% had complete responses and that on average their responses lasted for just over 3 years. A smaller, 32-patient study had a 75% response rate and most were still responding after 10.4 months, the last follow-up.

President Donald Trump (via AP Images)

Signs of an 'Oc­to­ber Vac­cine Sur­prise' alarm ca­reer sci­en­tists. HHS con­tin­ues to claim Azar “will de­fer com­plete­ly to the FDA"

President Donald Trump, who seems intent on announcing a Covid-19 vaccine before Election Day, could legally authorize a vaccine over the objections of experts, officials at the FDA and even vaccine manufacturers, who have pledged not to release any vaccine unless it’s proved safe and effective.

In podcasts, public forums, social media and medical journals, a growing number of prominent health leaders say they fear that Trump — who has repeatedly signaled his desire for the swift approval of a vaccine and his displeasure with perceived delays at the FDA — will take matters into his own hands, running roughshod over the usual regulatory process.

#ES­MO20: Push­ing in­to front­line, Mer­ck and Bris­tol My­ers duke it out with new slate of GI can­cer da­ta

Having worked in parallel for years to move their respective PD-1 inhibitors up to the first-line treatment of gastrointestinal cancers, Merck and Bristol Myers Squibb finally have the data at ESMO for a showdown.

Comparing KEYNOTE-590 and CheckMate-649, of course, comes with the usual caveats. But a side-by-side look at the overall survival numbers also offer some perspective on a new frontier for the reigning checkpoint rivals, both of whom are claiming to have achieved a first.

Frank Zhang (AP Images)

UP­DAT­ED: Rocked by cus­toms in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Leg­end's CFO takes over as CEO Frank Zhang placed un­der house ar­rest

When Frank Zhang stepped down from GenScript — the contract research group he’s run for 18 years — to take up the CEO post at its CAR-T focused spinout Legend Biotech, he assured analysts that he was in for the long haul.

Just 49 days later, though, he’s been forced to hand back the title.

In a dramatic turn of events, Legend disclosed that Zhang is under house arrest in China as part of a customs investigation involving GenScript. While he remains the chairman, CFO Ying Huang has been tapped to double as interim CEO.

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UP­DAT­ED: Two wild weeks for Grail end in $8B Il­lu­mi­na buy­out

Grail’s whirlwind two weeks have ended in the wealthy arms of its former founder and benefactors.

Illumina has shelled out $8 billion to reacquire the closely-watched liquid biopsy startup they spun out just 5 years ago and sold off much of its shares just 3 years ago. The deal comes nearly two weeks after the well-heeled startup filed for a potentially massive IPO — one that was disrupted just a week later when Bloomberg reported that Illumina was in talks to buy their former spinout for up to $8 billion.

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