Kåre Schultz, president and CEO of Teva (via Getty)

Te­va CEO Kåre Schultz brought home $14.7M last year, soar­ing past some of Eu­rope's top-paid phar­ma ex­ecs

The num­bers are in on Te­va CEO Kåre Schultz’s 2021 pay pack­age — and while his comp was a bit low­er than last year, it still rang high­er than some of Eu­rope’s top-paid phar­ma ex­ecs.

Schultz took home near­ly $14.7 mil­lion last year, up from about $15.7 mil­lion the year pri­or. About $2 mil­lion of that was con­sid­ered base salary, ac­cord­ing to Te­va’s com­pen­sa­tion re­port. The 60-year-old chief ex­ec­u­tive has been at the helm since 2017.

That pay cut could be due to the fact that rev­enues were down 5% last year com­pared to 2020, which the com­pa­ny at­trib­uted in part to gener­ic com­pe­ti­tion to its mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis drug Co­pax­one.

Best known as a ma­jor mak­er of gener­ics, Te­va has been steadi­ly boot­ing up R&D for brand­ed drugs as part of a promised turn­around. Back in Au­gust, it re­cruit­ed Mod­er­na vet­er­an Tal Zaks to its board. The com­pa­ny’s Hunt­ing­ton’s dis­ease treat­ment Auste­do and mi­graine med Ajovy will be a big part of those ef­forts, Schultz said, both of which saw in­creas­es in sales last year part­ly mak­ing up for Co­pax­one’s low­er num­bers.

“Look­ing for­ward to 2022, we ex­pect to see con­tin­ued growth of our key prod­ucts AUSTE­DO and AJOVY, as well as to con­tin­ue to ad­vance our core busi­ness through the launch of high qual­i­ty gener­ic med­i­cines around the world,” Schultz said in a state­ment re­gard­ing the com­pa­ny’s Q4 re­sults.

Te­va al­so not­ed the im­pact of the on­go­ing Covid-19 pan­dem­ic.

How­ev­er, Schultz still took home a sig­nif­i­cant­ly high­er amount than some of Eu­rope’s high­est-earn­ing phar­ma chiefs, in­clud­ing Roche CEO Sev­erin Schwan who raked in 11.5 mil­lion CHF ($12.4 mil­lion) last year, and No­var­tis head Vas Narasimhan, who claimed 11.2 mil­lion CHF ($12 mil­lion).

Those num­bers pale in com­par­i­son to what some of the US’ top-paid phar­ma ex­ecs see on a year­ly ba­sis, in­clud­ing J&J’s Alex Gorsky, who brought home right around $26.7 mil­lion last year, a $2.8 mil­lion drop com­pared to the year be­fore. Eli Lil­ly’s Dave Ricks amassed $23.7 mil­lion in 2020, while Gio­van­ni Caforio at Bris­tol My­ers Squibb claimed $20 mil­lion for the same stretch.

George Scangos (L) and Marianne De Backer

Pi­o­neer­ing biotech icon George Scan­gos hands in his re­tire­ment pa­pers — and this time it’s for re­al

George Scangos, one of the all-time great biotech CEOs, says the time has come to turn over the reins one last time.

The 74-year-old biotech legend spent close to three decades in a CEO post. The first was at Exelixis — which is still heavily focused on a drug Scangos advanced in the clinic. The second “retirement” was at Biogen, where he and his team were credited with a big turnaround with the now fading MS blockbuster Tecfidera. And the third comes at Vir, where he traded in his Big Biotech credentials for a marquee founder’s role back on the West Coast, hammering out a Covid-19 alliance with Hal Barron — then R&D chief at GSK — and breaking new ground on infectious diseases with some high-powered venture players.

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Jeanne Loring, director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine (Credit: Jamie Scott Lytle)

A stem cell pi­o­neer sent an ex­per­i­ment in­to space. Pa­tients are the next fron­tier

Last July, Jeanne Loring stood on a dirt road surrounded by Florida swampland and watched as a nearby SpaceX rocket blasted into the sky. The payload included a very personal belonging: cell clusters mimicking parts of her brain.

For more than two decades, Loring has been at the forefront of a stem cell field that always seems on the brink of becoming the next thing in medicine, but has been slow to lift off.

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Pa­tient death spurs tri­al halt for Ma­gen­ta Ther­a­peu­tics

Magenta Therapeutics is pausing an early-stage clinical trial after a patient died. The death was deemed to be possibly related to its drug, MGTA-117.

The biotech said the pause of the Phase I/II trial is voluntary and gives it time to review all available data before deciding what to do next. It’s also reported the known information to the FDA.

The dose-escalation trial was designed to test whether MGTA-117, an antibody-drug conjugate, could serve as a more targeted alternative to high-intensity chemotherapy as a conditioning agent for cancer patients who are set to receive a stem cell transplant. It recruited patients with relapsed/refractory acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome.

FDA re­ports ini­tial 'no sig­nal' for stroke risk with Pfiz­er boost­ers, launch­es con­comi­tant flu shot study

The FDA hasn’t detected any potential safety signals, including for stroke, in people aged 65 years and older who have received Pfizer’s bivalent Covid booster, one senior official told members of the agency’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) on Thursday.

The update comes as the FDA and CDC investigate a “preliminary signal” that may indicate an increased risk of ischemic stroke in older Americans who received Pfizer’s updated shot.

FDA cuts off use for As­traZeneca’s Covid-19 ther­a­py Evusheld

The FDA has stopped use of another drug as a result of the new coronavirus variants. On Thursday, the agency announced that AstraZeneca’s antibody combo Evusheld, which was an important prevention option for many immunocompromised people and others, is no longer authorized.

The FDA said it made its decision based on the fact that Evusheld works on fewer than 10% of circulating variants.

Evusheld was initially given emergency authorization at the end of 2021. However, as Omicron emerged, so did studies that showed Evusheld might not work against the dominant Omicron strain. In October, the FDA warned healthcare providers that Evusheld was useless against the Omicron subvariant BA.4.6. It followed that up with another announcement earlier this month that it did not think Evusheld would work against the latest Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5.

In­vestor 'misalign­men­t' leads to tR­NA biotech's shut­ter­ing

A small biotech looking to carve a lane in the tRNA field has folded, an investor and a co-founder confirmed to Endpoints News.

Similar to Flagship’s Alltrna and other upstarts like Takeda-backed hC Bioscience, the now-shuttered Theonys was attempting to go after transfer RNA, seen as a potential Swiss Army knife in the broader RNA therapeutics space. The idea is that one tRNA drug could be used across a galaxy of disorders and diseases.

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In a win for Re­gen­eron, No­var­tis' sy­ringe for AMD drug de­clared 'un­patentable'

Regeneron has won a patent case against Swiss pharma giant Novartis over the delivery system for its eye drug Eylea.

The US Patent Trial and Appeal Board ruled that Novartis’ pre-filled syringe for injecting its eye medication Lucentis was “unpatentable” and handed the victory to Regeneron and its AMD drug Eylea.

In the initial complaint in 2020, Novartis alleged to the US International Trade Commission that certain pre-filled syringes for the intravitreal injection, and ultimately Regeneron’s delivery system for Eylea, were infringing on Novartis’ patent. Regeneron filed a petition to review Novartis’ claims in 2021.

'Tis the sea­son: GSK ad­dress­es win­ter virus surges with celebri­ty and in­flu­encer vac­cine aware­ness cam­paigns

GSK is rounding up the usual suspects this winter — flu, respiratory syncytial and even shingles viruses — for multiple marketing efforts all aimed at encouraging vaccinations.

Mom influencers take center stage in its “Flu is a Family Affair” campaign to reach family decision-makers or “chief health officers.” GSK is asking them in the digital campaign to take care of themselves, and take the family along, when they go to the pharmacy or doctor’s office for a flu vaccine.

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Mer­ck halts prostate can­cer study while re­port­ing pos­i­tive read­out in bil­iary tract can­cer

Merck is slamming the brakes on a late-stage Keytruda study in prostate cancer after an interim analysis showed no improvement in survival, the company announced on Wednesday. However, the pharma giant cushioned the blow with a positive look at a separate study in biliary tract cancer.

An independent data monitoring committee reviewing the Phase III KEYNOTE-991 trial saw no improvement in overall survival or radiographic progression-free survival in a Keytruda combination group compared to the control group, Merck said in a news release. The trial was conducted in more than 1,200 patients with metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC), or those whose cancer is controlled by keeping testosterone levels as low as would be expected after castration.