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Newly listed biotechs' leaders rank among highest-paid CEOs in industry for 2018

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Newly listed biotechs' leaders rank among highest-paid CEOs in industry for 2018

U.S. biotechnology companies that went public in 2018 paid their CEOs the most in the sector during that year, according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

Moderna Inc. paid Stéphane Bancel a total compensation package of $58.6 million, making him the top-paid CEO in the U.S. biotech space — overtaking CEOs from bigger players such as Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., Gilead Sciences Inc., AbbVie Inc., Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Amgen Inc.

Cambridge, Mass.-based Moderna, which focuses on messenger RNA drugs to treat cancer, rare diseases and heart conditions, went public in December 2018. The company raised $604.4 million in its Nasdaq IPO, making it the second-highest earning flotation in the fourth quarter of that year.

Moderna's Bancel also claimed the top spot for having the sharpest year-over-year rise in stock and options received in 2018. Bancel has been at the company's helm since October 2011, joining from French diagnostics company bioMérieux SA.

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Rubius Therapeutics Inc.'s Pablo Cagnoni got the second-highest pay package for CEOs in the U.S. biotech sphere in 2018, also landing in the same spot in terms of the steepest hike in stock and options awarded that year. Cagnoni took up the role in June 2018, joining from privately held Tizona Therapeutics Inc.

Rubius, which develops therapies for cancer and rare and autoimmune diseases, listed on the Nasdaq Global Select Market in July 2018, raising $277.3 million in proceeds — the third-largest global healthcare IPO in the third quarter of that year.

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Meanwhile, MeiraGTx Holdings PLC CEO Alexandria Forbes took home a $23 million paycheck in 2018, a 1,949.5% increase from the previous year — landing her the 6th spot on the list of highest-paid CEOs in the U.S. biotech industry.

The New York-based gene therapy maker raised $75 million in its Nasdaq IPO, one of the biggest IPOs in the healthcare sector in the second quarter of 2018.

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