Pharma firm Circassia bashed by shareholder vote against executive pay

Jasper Jolly
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Circassia makes respiratory medicines (Source: Getty)

Investors today gave bosses at Circassia a bloody nose as a fifth voted against the remuneration report at the pharmaceutical firm backed by star fund manager Neil Woodford.

Some 20.51 per cent of shareholders voted against approving the Oxford-headquartered speciality pharma firm's executive pay, the firm announced after its annual general meeting.

Circassia has struggled in the past two years, with a June 2016 share price crash following the failure of a cat allergy treatment. It had previously been the UK's largest ever biotech float.

Read more: Circassia share price tanks by 65 per cent as allergy treament fails trial

Chief executive Steven Harris earned £825,000 in 2017, an almost 80 per cent increase on 2016 pay, when the directors gave up their bonuses. Harris received a £307,000 bonus in 2017.

Chief financial officer Julien Cotta's pay increased by a similar proportion, from £287,000 in 2016 to £513,000 last year, while research boss Rod Hafner earned £566,000.

The firm agreed a deal with pharma giant Astrazeneca to manufacture its Tudorza respiratory medicine in the US, but made a loss of £137.4m in spite of doubling its revenues to £46.3m.

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