A biotech bil­lion­aire tops the list of the 15 high­est paid R&D ex­ecs in bio­phar­ma

A few peo­ple in the top ech­e­lon of the 15 high­est paid R&D ex­ecs in the US — based on avail­able da­ta from the wave of proxy state­ments that have been filed so far this year — did bet­ter in 2017. But the trend over­all was down, by a bit, and way off from the go-go years topped by 2014. Still, no one on this list could be con­sid­ered hard up for cash.

The list is based on to­tal com­pen­sa­tion, in­clud­ing stock awards and op­tions that typ­i­cal­ly de­liv­er the li­on’s share of the val­ue. We’re stick­ing with the US due to re­port­ing re­quire­ments that make these num­bers pub­lic, which is lack­ing over­seas. Iron­i­cal­ly, though, the Eu­ro­pean Big Phar­mas have a dif­fer­ent — low­er — pay scale that typ­i­cal­ly keep them far be­hind their bet­ter paid US coun­ter­parts.

So let’s get start­ed.

1 George Yan­copou­los Re­gen­eron

Pres­i­dent and Chief Sci­en­tif­ic Of­fi­cer

2016: $27.8 mil­lion
2015: $40.0 mil­lion

George Yan­copou­los is in a class of R&D ex­ecs all on his own. While his com­pen­sa­tion pack­age was trimmed to $27.8 mil­lion last year, it was still more than dou­ble the next name on the list. The rea­son is that as co-founder of the high­ly suc­cess­ful com­pa­ny, he’s been mov­ing to par­i­ty with CEO Len Schleifer. Yan­copou­los al­so owns a chunk of Re­gen­eron stock that makes him a bil­lion­aire —2.9% to be ex­act, or 3,047,986 shares. worth $1.2 bil­lion on Fri­day’s close.

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