Management Team

Pete Buzy

Pete Buzy

President

Pete Buzy joined Paragon Bioservices in 2014 as the Chief Operating Officer, later moving into the role of President & Chief Executive Officer. Bringing with him more than 25 years of successful executive management experience, Pete grew the company into a premier CDMO with a leading position in gene therapy and next-generation vaccines. His expertise in growing companies was instrumental in leading the company to be acquired by Catalent (NYSE: CTLT) in 2019. Catalent is the leading global provider of advanced delivery technologies, development and manufacturing solutions for drugs, biologics, gene therapies, and consumer health products.

Prior to Paragon, Pete spent more than 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 transforming Martek’s business from an R&D company to a fully integrated and profitable commercial organization with more than $470M in annual sales.  Pete’s responsibilities also included overseeing a CMO business unit as well as managing annual R&D spending of over $6M including research activities in algal genomics and pharmaceutical cell line development. He also directed two significant GMP facility expansions totaling over $150M involving the addition of 200+ manufacturing employees during a two-year period.

While at Martek, as Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Pete successfully raised more than $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 nearly $1.1B. He also earned the 2011 Chief Financial Officer of the Year Award from the Technology Council of Maryland.

Prior to Martek, Pete spent 13 years at Ernst & Young where he advanced to Partner in the Northern Virginia High Technology and Life Science Practice, serving a variety of private and publicly traded biotechnology companies.  A member of Paragon’s Board of Directors, Pete received a BBA in Accounting, from Salisbury University in Maryland and serves on the Board and Executive Committees of the Technology Council of Maryland.

Philip W. Wills, PhD

Philip W. Wills, PhD

Chief Commercial Officer

Philip Wills, Chief Commercial Officer at Catalent Paragon Gene Therapy, is a veteran business executive and scientist with nearly two decades of contract manufacturing experience, primarily focused in viral vectors and other complex biologics. After joining Paragon in 2002, Philip held positions of increasing scope and responsibility, including appointments as the Principal Scientist and VP of Business Development. His career began at the University of Maryland and worked in a variety of scientific roles in both the School of Medicine and Cancer Center. Philip obtained a BA in Chemistry from Johns Hopkins University and a PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Maryland Medical School.

Deborah Wild

Deborah Wild

Chief of Staff and Vice President, Corporate Development

Ms. Wild is an accomplished Quality Executive/Leader with 30 years experience. Most recently she ran a thriving consulting practice, for over 14 years, leading Quality Assurance focused initiatives for high profile clients such as Genentech, TEVA, Polynoma, Cytovance, CMC Biologics, etc.  Managing her consulting on the side, Ms. Wild occupied full-time roles at Polynoma as VP of Quality Systems and VP of Manufacturing and Supply Chain at Victory Pharma.  Prior to launching her practice, she spent over 17 years at Genentech ending there as Director of Contract Manufacturing.  Through her experience, Ms. Wild has earned a strong reputation for adding to company growth strategies by effectively transforming Quality organizations into strong business partners. Additionally, Ms. Wild was a member of our armed forces serving in the Army having been deployed to Desert Storm towards the end of her enlistment. She began as a Private First Class and left having achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant.

Gerard Fleury

Gerard Fleury

Chief Financial Officer

Gerard Fleury is an accomplished C-level leader with more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries. Prior to Paragon, Gerard held the role of Chief Financial Officer at Pharmaceutics International, Inc. (Pii), a privately held contract development and manufacturing organization providing dosage form development and manufacturing services to the global pharmaceutical industry, where he was responsible for the strategic and financial health of the company.  He spent the early part of his career with Deloitte & Touche, rising to senior manager in the Emerging Business and Corporate Finance Groups. Since then, he has more than 25 years of experience as a CFO, COO or CEO of companies in the biotech, pharmaceutical, healthcare IT, and software industries. Gerard has managed organizations through turn-around situations as well as growth and optimization cycles, in companies ranging from pre-revenue to $350 million.  

Gerard graduated from Towson University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting.  He has served on the boards of directors of or as an advisor to software, internet, data center and utility companies. 

Thomas VanCott, PhD

Thomas VanCott, PhD

Chief Technology and Strategy Officer

Dr. VanCott joins Paragon following 14 years as the President and CEO of Advanced Bioscience Laboratories, Inc. (ABL), a contract manufacturing and laboratory research services company focused on bringing vaccines and therapies from clinical stages to the commercial marketplace. Previously, Dr. VanCott served as Executive Vice President of Operations and Director of Product Development at ABL. Before joining ABL, he held several positions at the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine. He also served as a U.S. Army Captain in the Medical Service Corps at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He received his PhD in Physical Chemistry from University of Virginia and a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Dickinson College.

Ruby Hofmann

Ruby Hofmann

Senior 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.

Randy Henrickson

Randy Henrickson

Senior Vice President, Manufacturing

Randy Henrickson has over 20 years of experience in site leadership, process development and technical support in the biotechnology field.  His experience spans from early development to commercial launch of biological and vaccine products. During his career, he has worked for a variety of companies ranging from large pharmaceutical, start-up biotechnology, and contract manufacturing/development organizations (CDMO).  Most recently, he was the SVP of Operations & Site Head at KBI Biopharma, a world-class CDMO.  In this role, he led all aspects of site operations including business/client development.   Before KBI Biopharma, he was the Director of Biological Tech Ops at Merck & Co., Inc. leading a development group that produced several clinical product candidates. He was also a Process Engineering Mgr at Insmed Therapeutic Proteins. Randy has a Masters of Chem Engineering from Lehigh University and BS in Chem Engineering from Purdue University.
George Buchman, PhD

George Buchman, PhD

Vice President, Preclinical Services and Process Development

Dr. Buchman brings more than 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 B.S. in Biochemistry from Albright College, and received his PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Anne Shiflett

Anne Shiflett

Vice President, Finance and Administration

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.

Denise Krohn

Denise Krohn

Vice President, Quality

Ms. Krohn joined Paragon in July 2017 as Senior Director, Quality Assurance, and currently serves as the strategic leader for quality at Paragon. She has more than 20 years of experience in quality assurance roles where she had the opportunity to build robust quality systems from early clinical stage through licensure and launch. Prior to joining Paragon, Ms. Krohn was most recently Senior Director, Development and Compliance for Novavax, where she managed and developed global compliance operational strategies. She previously held quality leadership positions of increasing responsibility at Shire Pharmaceutical and WuXi Apptec. She received her B.S. degree in Biology from Millersville University.

Chris Holmes

Chris Holmes

Vice President, Facilities and Engineering

Chris is an accomplished operations leader with more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries. He has developed and managed teams consisting of Facilities, Engineering, EHS, Sustainability, Receiving, and other operational functions.  Prior to Paragon, Chris most recently held the role of Senior Director, Facilities & Engineering at MacroGenics, Inc. (MGNX), a biopharmaceutical organization providing monoclonal antibody-based therapeutics, where he was responsible for all facilities and engineering operations of the company.  He has substantial experience in design, construction, start-up, and operation of laboratory and cleanroom facilities, specifically in the biopharmaceutical space.  He also worked in operational leadership roles of increasing responsibility at Baxter, Life Technologies, and the US Pharmacopeia.  

Chris holds a BS in Public Affairs/Environmental Science from Indiana University as well as an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University.  He serves on the advisory board of the local chapter of International Society of Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE).

Dermot McCaul

Dermot McCaul

Vice President, Information Technology

With over 17 years’ experience, Dermot joins the Paragon team from Merck having spent his career there starting as a Quality Control Inspector in the Pharma Manufacturing and Packaging area and ending as the Director of Global IT Research.  Prior to his last position, he spent 5 years leading a small team that was responsible for developing and implementing the technology strategy for the Biologics and Vaccines Research area.  There he was tasked with interfacing with CRO/CMOs in establishing the technology strategy that appropriately aligned with that of Merck’s.  Dermot holds an MSE in Technology Management from Penn Engineering and Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State.
Jim Gombold, PhD

Jim Gombold, PhD

Vice President, Analytical Development

Dr. Gombold joined Paragon following 11 years with Charles River Laboratories as Senior Director of Technical Services, Site Director of Biologics Testing Solutions and Director of Testing Services. In his most recent role as Senior Director, he was responsible for providing guidance and oversight in scientific and technical capacities for the company’s global biologics organization. Prior to Charles River, he worked at Wyeth as both Director/Associate Director of Vaccine Analytical and Formulation Development. Before Wyeth, Dr. Gombold was with Merck & Co., served as Assistant Professor at Louisiana State University, and also served as Research Associate at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his PhD in Virology from Baylor College of Medicine and his B.S. degree in Microbiology from the Indiana University in Bloomington.

Adam L. Sachs

Adam L. Sachs

Vice President, Program Management & Strategic Client Alliance

Adam is a skilled and accomplished leader with over 25 years of experience in Program and Alliance Management, Operations/Supply Chain Management and Business Development within the Biotech and Pharma industries.  He joins Paragon after 10+ successful years at AstraZeneca/MedImmune, where he served as Senior Director in both BD and Alliance Management.  As Alliance Director, Adam oversaw all commercial antibody supply collaborations, as well as played a critical lead role in the accelerated commercial launch of a blockbuster biologic oncology drug. 

Adam began his career at Life Technologies, where over a ten-year period he held several roles of increasing scope and responsibility, including Director of Manufacturing for both make-to-stock and just-in-time manufacturing operations.  He has also held executive positions at two Maryland-based biotech companies.

Adam holds a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego, and a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Michigan.

Mervyn Hamer

Mervyn Hamer

Vice President, Facilities and Engineering

Merv Hamer has spent more than four decades in a variety of pharma and biotech roles including engineering, manufacturing, and executive leadership. He has worked in both large pharma and small start-ups and has extensive experience in many diverse dosage forms. He has led the conceptualization, design, construction, start-up, and management of large manufacturing facilities at several companies and for a variety of novel products. For example, at Alza Corporation he managed the construction and startup of Alza’s first manufacturing plant for oral osmotic tablets (Procardia XL) and transdermal systems (Nicoderm, Duragesic) in Vacaville, CA.

Merv has spent a significant portion of his career working internationally, first as a Peace Corps volunteer, and later as Technical Director for PATH, where he oversaw technology transfers to pharma manufacturing organizations in lower income countries. He coordinated the development and introduction of a vitamin fortified rice technology (UltraRice) under a grant he secured from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has lectured at Boston University’s School of International Health on drug policy issues and holds patents in novel drug delivery technologies.

Merv received his BS in Chemical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Eric Hacherl

Eric Hacherl

Vice President, GMP Manufacturing - BioPark

Eric Hacherl joined Paragon Gene Therapy in 2019 after spending more than 25 years in biotechnology, with 18 of those in the pharmaceutical industry. His vast experience spans laboratory operations, manufacturing operations, manufacturing science & technology, and supply chain management.

He began his career in environmental biotechnology designing and automating bioreactors for bioremediation projects. Most of his career was spent in vaccines and large molecule manufacturing at Merck and Co., Inc., working on new product launches, new facility designs and start-up, in-line manufacturing, and manufacturing continuous improvement (OPEX). Most recently, he was Site General Manager at Noramco, a small molecule API manufacturing company. During his time at Noramco, Eric oversaw the Operations, MS&T, Logistics, Project Engineering, Facilities and Maintenance, and EH&S departments. He brings to Paragon a strong focus on Safety and Quality Compliance through an Operational Excellence design. 

Eric has a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Rutgers University, a Masters in Soil and Water Science from University of Florida, and a Bachelors in Plant Science from University of Delaware.

Paul Nelson

Paul Nelson

Vice President, Supply Chain

Paul Nelson is an experienced Global Supply Chain Specialist with more than 30 years of cross-industry expertise in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. He has developed and implemented continuous improvement programs and risk management processes that led to increased efficiency, and effectiveness in Supply Chain Operations, Manufacturing, R&D, business units and Commercial Operations throughout his tenure before coming to Catalent Biologics | Paragon Gene Therapy in 2019.

Paul’s early career included 13 years with UCB Chemicals/Bioproducts, Inc. where he held positions of increasing responsibility including General Manager of a North American subsidiary. During his time there he was responsible for increasing the capacity of their specialty chemical production facilities, created and was responsible for all North American pharmaceutical supply chain activities, including successful launches of blockbuster drugs.

Paul’s next 10 years were spent with Shire Pharmaceuticals where, as Senior Director, he implemented changes that led to more than $24MM in cumulative savings and cost avoidance. In the recent years of his career, Paul has functioned as Vice President of Supply Chain and R&D in several additional North American pharmaceutical companies where he successfully implemented “track and trace” in commercial products for compliance with the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) and improved inventory accuracy as well as increased annual savings in CMOs specializing in cell and gene therapies.

Paul received his BS in Applied Mathematics, with minors in Chemistry and Physics from Kentucky State University. He received a second BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Kentucky and completed an MBA in International Business from the University of South Carolina.

John Mosack

John Mosack

Vice President, GMP Manufacturing - BWI

John Mosack joined Paragon Gene Therapy in 2019 with more than 25 years of GMP operations management, validation and compliance experience in small and large-scale clinical and commercial biologics manufacturing operations. Most recently, he was the Site Head for Lonza’s Bioscience and Cell Therapy operations at the Walkersville, Maryland production facility. Prior to that, John spent 5 years as the Site General Manager of Bristol Myers Squibb’s Syracuse, New York facility where he oversaw biologics manufacturing for clinical and commercial drug substance. John has played key roles in leading organizational readiness for successful commercial licensure of several biologics. Beyond the operational management experience, John spent 9 years at KMI/PAREXEL managing validation and compliance projects in the biologics, pharmaceutical and medical device industries.

 John holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.