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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