President, CEO and Board member
Peter Buzy brings over 25 years of executive management experience to Paragon, primarily in the areas of finance and biotechnology. Pete initially joined Paragon as Chief Operating Officer in 2014 and later was assigned the responsibility of President. Pete currently holds the position of Chief Executive Officer and is an active member on Paragon’s board of directors. Prior to Paragon, he spent over 13 years as a senior executive at Martek Biosciences Corporation (NASDAQ: MATK), a leader in the innovation, development, production and sale of high-value products from microbial sources. He played a key role in developing Martek’s business from an R&D company to a fully integrated and profitable commercial organization with over $470M in annual sales. While serving as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Martek, Pete successfully raised over $300M in both private and public financing. He successfully oversaw several large corporate acquisitions, collaborations and licensing arrangements, cultivating company growth while setting the stage for Martek’s sale to Royal DSM NV in 2011 for close to $1.1B. He also earned the 2011 CFO of the Year from the Technology Council of Maryland.
Additionally, his career includes a 13-year tenure with Ernst & Young, where he was admitted to partnership in the Northern Virginia High Technology and Life Science Practice as Audit Partner serving a variety of private and publicly traded biotechnology companies. Pete received a Bachelor of Business Administration, Accounting, from Salisbury University in Maryland and he also serves on the Board and Executive Committees of the Technology Council of Maryland.
William D Thomas, Jr, PhD
Chief Technology Officer
Dr. Thomas has more than 20 years of experience in the development and manufacture of vaccines and monoclonal antibodies. He spent the past fifteen years with MassBiologics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, where, as Deputy Director, he was responsible for Product Discovery, Process Development and Manufacturing. Among his many accomplishments while there, Bill was responsible for the development of monoclonal antibodies against C. difficile that were shown to be effective in a Phase III trial recently completed by Merck. Additionally, under his leadership, MassBiologics modernized its TD manufacturing process to meet FDA standards. Bill began his career with OraVax (formerly Acambis, now Sanofi Pasteur) where he held a series of positions of increased responsibility and was responsible for vaccine discovery and clinical manufacturing, developing vaccines and adjuvants for use against C. difficile and H. pylori. He discovered the toxoid vaccine and developed a manufacturing process for the C. difficile toxoid vaccine currently in Phase III trials by Sanofi. Bill received his Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology from the Medical College of Virginia, where he studied genetic mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in Staphylococci. Bill holds 17 patents for vaccines, adjuvants and monoclonal antibodies, and has published more than 25 articles in peer-reviewed journals.
John Conner, MS
Senior Vice President, GMP Manufacturing
John brings more than 30 years of experience in the areas of Process Development, Manufacturing, Technical Transfer and Analytics for all phases of clinical development as well as commercial manufacturing of complex biologics. Mr. Conner has oversight responsibility for all cGMP Manufacturing operations. Prior to Paragon he has spent much of his career successfully meeting the challenges of providing manufacturing services to the biotechnology industry. He was most recently Senior Vice President of Operations at Cytovance Biologics, a start-up CDMO where John was responsible for building the operations team, manufacturing facilities and GMP systems to provide world class GMP manufacturing over several biologic platforms the past 11 years. Mr. Conner led the GMP Manufacturing and Manufacturing Science and Technology Teams in the development and production of therapeutic proteins using Mammalian, Microbial and Transgenic processes to produce Monoclonal Antibodies (IgGs, IgMs), Therapeutic Enzymes, Fusion proteins, and Cytokines. He has also been responsible in the implementation of “Flex Suite” strategy at Cytovance for the flexible and custom development and manufacture of specialized biologic products such as Vaccines, Cellular Immunotherapeutics, Stem Cell therapeutics, Gene Therapy products, Conjugations, Tissue / Extracellular Matrix Products, Unique platforms (Insect cell lines, transgenic) and Medical Device or Combination Products. Prior to his tenure at Cytovance, past positions have included serving as Associate Director, Technical Support of CancerVax Corporation, where he was responsible for process development, manufacturing, technology transfer as well as the design, construction and operation of two biologics manufacturing facilities for clinical and early commercial production. In addition, he has held management positions at the John Wayne Cancer Institute and Gene Therapy Laboratories, where he managed complex immunotherapeutics and gene-therapy vector development and production. Mr. Conner is also the Senior Author on several Industry Publications “Biotechnology Entrepreneurship: Starting, Managing and Leading Biotech Companies, Chapter 26 The Biomanufacturing of Biotechnology Products”, Shimasaki, Elsevier 2014 and a PDA publication “Pharmaceutical Outsourcing: Quality Management and Project Delivery: Chapter 11 CMOs For Early Phase Biologicals Production: Contract Manufacturing and Controls”, Deeks, Ginsbury and Schniepp, PDA 2013. John attended Texas Tech University and holds a B.S. in Microbiology and completed his M.S. Graduate Studies in Biological Sciences from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Philip W. Wills, PhD
Vice President, Business Development and Principal Scientist
Dr. Wills joined Paragon in 2002 with primary responsibilities in leading and overseeing the development and growth of new business and to develop and maintain effective key corporate and government relationships. Additional responsibilities include proposal preparation, scientific/technical review, and writing project and study reports.
Phil’s experience and expertise includes molecular biology, virus production and purification, upstream and downstream bioprocessing, the development of novel assays for understanding the mechanism of action for complex biotherapeutics as well as for validating their use, and the preparation of well-characterized purified proteins, multiprotein enzyme complexes, and cellular products for early stage drug discovery through clinical development. Phil obtained a BA in Chemistry from The Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Maryland.
Mark Adams, MSc
Vice President, Program Managment
Mark Adams joined Paragon in 2016 and brings over 25 years’ experience in the biotechnology industry in Program Management, Alliance Management and Business Development. In the course of his career, Mr. Adams has held positions with industry leaders and innovators in both the contract manufacturing and proprietary biological drug development sectors. Prior to joining Paragon, Mr. Adams was Vice President of Program Management at Cytovance Biologics where he established and grew the Program Management function and also managed a number of client development programs.
Prior to Cytovance, Mr. Adams spent 4 years at Shire Human Genetic Therapies as Program Executive with responsibility for driving the development of a portfolio of pipeline products in various stages of clinical development for the treatment of human genetic diseases, and 7 years at Genzyme Transgenics Corp as Vice President of Commercial Development where he established the Program Management function and had responsibility for partnering the company’s proprietary transgenic technology for the production of biotherapeutics.
Mr. Adams began his career at Pharmacia Biotech, Uppsala, Sweden where he held positions of increasing responsibility in both technical and commercial management functions supporting the growth of the company’s protein purification products business. Mr. Adams also held business development positions at PerSeptive Biosystems and Lonza Biologics. Mr. Adams holds a B.Sc.(Hons) and M.Sc. in biochemistry from University College Cork, Ireland.
George Buchman, PhD
Vice President, Preclinical Services and Process Development
Dr. Buchman brings over 25 years of highly cross-functional experience in the biotechnology industry to Paragon, including roles in IVD R&D, leadership roles in manufacturing, fermentation and process development, global program management, business development and custom protein and VLP production. Before joining Paragon in 2014, George spent 8 years at Chesapeake PERL(C-PERL) as Vice President Operations and Chief Scientific Officer, primarily as Principal Investigator on multiple grants and contracts across a number of federal agencies, and as subcontractor to Prime Contractors for the custom production of proteins and VLPs. Prior to C-PERL, George worked for 5 years in global program management and business development roles at Celera Genomics and GeneLogic Corporation, both informatics businesses. George started in his post-doctoral career at Life Technologies, where he worked in a series of cross-functional roles and was a member of the Global Leadership team. George provided oversight for build-out of a cGMP-compliant protein production facility, and gained substantial experience directing groups in DNA and protein-related manufacturing and process development. George received his BS in Biochemistry from Albright College, and received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Vice President, Quality
With over 25 years of experience in leading and developing high performing operational and technical teams in quality control, quality systems, manufacturing engineering capital projects, and contamination control, Carolyn Philips has oversight responsibility for all aspects of quality at Paragon. Prior to joining Paragon in September 2015, Carolyn worked for Genzyme as the Quality Control and Contamination Control Director at Genzyme’s Allston Landing Facility. She was responsible for remediating and rebuilding the QC program under Consent Decree and led the microbiological contamination control team. As the Quality Control Director, she led four large quality control groups (microbiology, chemistry, validation and operations) that provided support for the commercial manufacture and testing of BDS and FDP. Prior to that, while at IBA Molecular, Carolyn served as the corporate microbiological SME for 11 commercial radiopharmaceutical facilities producing sterile, injectable drug product for Positron Emission Tomography. Her other work experience includes Associate Director of Quality Control, Microbiology at Human Genome Sciences, Senior Consultant for the Biologics Consulting Group, and Laboratory and Scientific Director, Microbiology for BioReliance Corporation. Carolyn earned her BS in Biology (Magna Cum Laude with Distinction) from Georgia State University.
Vice President, Finance
Anne Shiflett brings over 25 years of managerial, financial and accounting experience to Paragon, joining the company in 2014. Anne has expertise in leading the start-up and rapid growth of new and emerging companies in information technology, real estate brokerage and life sciences. She has been in the life sciences industry for the past ten years—most recently as Vice President, Finance and Administration at Corridor Pharmaceuticals and Alba Therapeutics.
Anne has been involved in raising over $90 million in various forms of financing to include preferred stock, bridge financing, bank financing and venture back debt. With her experience in supporting the finance and accounting aspects of drug and clinical development companies to contract research organizations, she brings critical perspectives to managing the financial management side of Paragon’s customer and vendor relationships. Anne received a BBA in Accounting and an MBA in Business Management from Loyola College of Maryland, and is also a CPA.
Vice President, Human Resources and Organizational Development
Ruby Hofmann brings over 25 years of human resources experience to Paragon. Ruby is a dynamic HR Business leader with demonstrated success in creating business-driven HR strategies. Her passion is leading culture and talent transformational initiatives which result in fueling business growth.
Recognized for her business acumen and client-focused HR solutions, Ruby has had a successful career partnering with business leaders to create executable strategies leading to HR and Business Transformation. She has HR expertise in developing focused, results oriented solutions that advance organizational performance, deliver a strong workforce, and develop exceptional leadership. She works with leaders to proactively identify change management opportunities and create plans to mitigate business risk.
She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Hofstra University and an M.S. in Social Work from Columbia University.