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.

Has the mo­ment fi­nal­ly ar­rived for val­ue-based health­care?

RBC Capital Markets’ Healthcare Technology Analyst, Sean Dodge, spotlights a new breed of tech-enabled providers who are rapidly transforming the way clinicians deliver healthcare, and explores the key question: can this accelerating revolution overturn the US healthcare system?

Key points

Tech-enabled healthcare providers are poised to help the US transition to value, not volume, as the basis for reward.
The move to value-based care has policy momentum, but is risky and complex for clinicians.
Outsourced tech specialists are emerging to provide the required expertise, while healthcare and tech are also converging through M&A.
Value-based care remains in its early stages, but the transition is accelerating and represents a huge addressable market.

Clay Siegall, Morphimmune CEO

Up­dat­ed: Ex-Seagen chief Clay Sie­gall emerges as CEO of pri­vate biotech

Clay Siegall will be back in the CEO seat, taking the helm of a private startup working on targeted cancer therapies.

It’s been almost a year since Siegall resigned from Seagen, the biotech he co-founded and led for more than 20 years, in the wake of domestic violence allegations by his then-wife. His eventual successor, David Epstein, sold the company to Pfizer in a $43 billion deal unveiled last week.

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No­vo Nordisk oral semaglu­tide tri­al shows re­duc­tion in blood sug­ar, plus weight loss

Novo Nordisk is testing higher levels of its oral version of its GLP-1, semaglutide, and its type 2 diabetes trial results released today show reductions in blood sugar as well as weight loss.

In the Phase IIIb trial, Novo compared its oral semaglutide in 25 mg and 50 mg doses with the 14 mg version that’s currently the maximum approved dose. The trial looked at how the doses compared when added to a stable dose of one to three oral antidiabetic medicines in people with type 2 diabetes who were in need of an intensified treatment.

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Ly­me vac­cine test com­ple­tion is pushed back by a year as Pfiz­er, Val­ne­va say they'll ad­just tri­al

Valneva and Pfizer have adjusted the end date for the Phase III study of their investigational Lyme disease vaccine, pushing it back by a year after issues at a contract researcher led to thousands of US patients being dropped from the test.

In a March 20 update to clinicaltrials.gov, Valneva and Pfizer moved the primary completion date on the trial, called VALOR, from the end of 2024 to the end of 2025.

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Stuart Peltz, former PTC Therapeutics CEO

Stu­art Peltz re­signs as PTC Ther­a­peu­tics CEO af­ter 25 years

Stuart Peltz, the longtime CEO of PTC Therapeutics who’s led the rare disease drug developer since its founding 25 years ago, is stepping down.

Succeeding him in the top job is Matthew Klein, who joined PTC in 2019 and was promoted to chief operating officer in 2022. In a call with analysts, he said the CEO transition has been planned for “quite some time” — in fact, as part of it, he gave the company’s presentation at the JP Morgan healthcare conference earlier this year.

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Bet­ter Ther­a­peu­tics cuts 35% of staff while await­ing dig­i­tal ther­a­peu­tic ap­proval

Digital therapeutics company Better Therapeutics announced on Thursday that it’s cutting 35% of its staff as it awaits FDA clearance for its first product.

The company, which launched eight years ago, is one of a growing group of companies seeking a digital alternative to traditional medicine. The space saw a record $7.5 billion in investments in 2021, according to Chris Dokomajilar at DealForma, with uses spanning ADHD, PTSD and other indications. However, private insurers have been slow to hop on board.

FDA ad­vi­sors unan­i­mous­ly rec­om­mend ac­cel­er­at­ed ap­proval for Bio­gen's ALS drug

A panel of outside advisors to the FDA unanimously recommended that the agency grant accelerated approval to Biogen’s ALS drug tofersen despite the drug failing the primary goal of its Phase III study, an endorsement that could pave a path forward for the treatment.

By a 9-0 vote, members of the Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee said there was sufficient evidence that tofersen’s effect on a certain protein associated with ALS is reasonably likely to predict a benefit for patients. But panelists stopped short of advocating for a full approval, voting 3-5 against (with one abstention) and largely citing the failed pivotal study.

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Eu­ro­pean doc­tors di­al up dig­i­tal com­mu­ni­ca­tion with phar­mas, but still lean to­ward in-per­son med meet­ings, study finds

As in-person sales rep access declines in the big five European countries, a corresponding uptick in virtual rep access is happening. It’s not surprising, but it does run counter to pharma companies’ assessment – along with long-held sales rep sway in Europe – that in-person access hadn’t changed.

CMI Media Group and Medscape’s recent study reports that 75% of physicians in the EU5 countries of Spain, Germany, Italy, France and the UK already limit engagements with pharma sales reps, and 25% of those surveyed plan to decrease time with reps.

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Judge al­lows ex­pert tes­ti­mo­ny in GSK tri­al al­leg­ing Zan­tac link to can­cer

A California judge will allow a plaintiff in a state court case to introduce expert testimony connecting a potential carcinogen in former blockbuster medicine Zantac to cancer.

The order was handed down on Thursday from state judge Evelio Grillo, who is now allowing both parties to introduce expert testimony in an upcoming trial after what’s known as a Sargon hearing, where a judge determines the admissibility of expert witnesses and expert opinions.