Regeneron Billionaires Got Raises in 2015 Before Shares Fell

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. Chief Executive Officer Leonard S. Schleifer and research chief George D. Yancopoulos, who became billionaires as the value of their company soared, saw pay raises last year.

Schleifer’s pay grew to $47.5 million, up from $42 million, according to the summary compensation table disclosed in a Tuesday proxy statement. Yancopoulos’s compensation grew to $40.3 million from $35.5 million. Most of the increases were due to more valuable option awards and bigger bonus payouts.

The actual number of stock options awarded to the executives decreased last year, the filing shows, and the awards have a strike price of $555.67. Shares closed at $406.66 Tuesday after collapsing 25 percent this year to date.

“These awards are valued using the Black-Scholes model, and the realized value will depend on future stock performance,” Alexandra Bowie, a Regeneron spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. “As of today, the 2015 grants are underwater, which underscores why options should not be equated with the full-value awards that other companies provide their executives and board members.”

Schleifer has a net worth of $2.2 billion, according the the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Yancopoulos and Chairman Roy Vagelos, who became a billionaire on option awards he received at Regeneron, are currently just shy of ten-figure fortunes after the injection-maker’s slump. Vagelos received compensation of $23.2 million in 2015, according to the filing.

The Tarrytown, New York-based drugmaker’s products include Eylea, an injection for age-related vision loss, and Zaltrap, an injection for metastatic colorectal cancer. The company is developing a treatment for atopic dermatitis.

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