Employees at top biotech companies can get paid more than $800,000 a year. Here are the companies where workers make the most.

Employees at top biotech companies can get paid more than $800,000 a year. Here are the companies where workers make the most.

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Biotech companies are developing treatments a range of diseases. A new analysis reveals how much their workers get paid.


It pays to work for a biotechnology company.

The US recently began to require that public companies disclose the median compensation of their employees. For some biotechs, compensation is as high as $800,000 for the typical employee.

The US also requires companies to calculate out a ratio illustrating the difference between the median pay for workers and CEOs. Companies have long been required to disclose how much they pay board members and top executives.

Read more: Here's how much the typical healthcare employee makes, from CVS to buzzy biotechs


The publication BioPharma Dive pulled together a list of 180 biotech companies to analyze their compensation packages for CEOs and employees. The list included biotechs with a market cap above $500 million.

Overall, reporters Andrew Dunn and Ned Pagliarulo found that across the industry, median pay for biotech workers was $177,650.

Here are the 10 companies where the typical biotech employee made the most money, according to their analysis.

  • Sarepta, $329,229. Sarepta makes gene therapies for conditions like an inherited form of blindness. As of its last filing, it employed 499 employees, noting that 252 of those employees hold advanced degrees.
  • Intra-Cellular Therapeutics, $337,867. Intra-Cellular is developing treatments for conditions like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. As of February, the company employed 73 employees.
  • Agios Pharmaceuticals, $345,181. Agios is a cancer drugmaker that has two approved treatments for acute myeloid leukemia. At the end of 2018, the company employed 482 employees. Agios noted in a filing that that included 156 employees with MDs or PhDs.
  • Clovis Oncology, $349,809. Clovis Oncology makes an ovarian cancer drug called Rubraca that's part of a class of cancer drugs called PARP inhibitors, which block a particular enzyme that's used by our cells to repair DNA so that tumors can't survive. In certain kinds of cancer that repair system is broken, allowing cancer cells to thrive, so blocking it is critical. As of February, the company employed 468 employees.
  • Blueprint Medicine, $398,087. The cancer drugmaker had 217 employees as of February 2019.
  • Heron Therapeutics, $418,130. Heron has developed treatments for cancer patients designed to cut back on treatment-induced nausea and vomiting. In May, the Food and Drug Administration rejected its application for a non-opioid pain drug, citing manufacturing issues. As of its last filing, the company employed 68 employees as of February 2019.
  • Sage Therapeutics, $589,166. Sage is developing treatments for central nervous system disorders, including major depressive disorder and Parkinson's disease. In March, Sage got a key approval for its drug Zulresso, which is used to treat post-partum depression. The company had 637 employees as of February 2019.
  • Esperion, $601,814. Esperion is developing new treatments for high cholesterol. The company had 76 employees as of the end of 2018.
  • The Medicines Company, $659,048. The biotech is focused on treating heart conditions. As of the end of 2018, the company had 67 employees.
  • Madrigal Pharmaceuticals, $804,000. Madrigal is developing treatments for NASH, short for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, a type of liver disease in which liver fat builds up in people. In 2018, the company got positive data related to its trial. The company has the highest median pay of any biotech, in large part because it employs just 15 employees.