Appointments and Promotions Continue to Position Paragon as Industry-Leading Gene Therapy and Vaccine CDMO
BALTIMORE, March 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Paragon Bioservices, the leading private equity-backed, biologics contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) announced today the appointment of Thomas VanCott, Ph.D., as Chief Technology and Strategy Officer (CTSO), along with several key promotions and new hires.
“We are thrilled to welcome Tom into the CTSO role,” said Pete Buzy, Paragon’s President and CEO. As a seasoned biopharmaceutical executive with a strong track record of success and deep experience in strategy, research and development and manufacturing, Tom will be an excellent addition to our growing team at Paragon. Furthermore, we offer our sincere gratitude and best wishes to our outgoing Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Bill Thomas, who successfully initiated our GMP culture improvements and has greatly increased the strength and capabilities of our process development and analytical services teams.”
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 Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from University of Virginiaand a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Dickinson College.
“Paragon is a dynamic group that has risen to become a leader amongst its peers in late-stage clinical and commercial biopharmaceutical manufacturing, and I’m honored to join this world-class industry-leading CDMO team at a time in the industry when gene therapy technologies are reaching critical mass,” said Dr. VanCott. “Paragon Bioservices has proven expertise in gene therapy and next-generation vaccines and is poised to become a strong commercial partner for the viral vaccine industry,” VanCott states further.
Due to Paragon’s expansive growth, key leadership hires and promotions at the senior vice president and vice president levels have also occurred. In addition to the hiring of Dr. VanCott as CTSO, recent new hires include Chris Holmes, MBA, as Vice President of Facilities & Engineering, and Jim Gombold, Ph.D., as Vice President of Quality Control and Analytical Development. Promotions include Randy Henrickson to Senior Vice President, Manufacturing, and Denise Krohn to Vice President, Quality Assurance and Compliance.
Talent has also been added to further support Paragon’s commercial business interests in key areas such as Supply Chain, Quality Assurance, Regulatory Affairs, Operational Excellence and Human Resources.
“The infusion of these senior leaders supports our strategy for growth and will usher us into a new and exciting time at Paragon with a goal of having more than 500 dedicated employees by the end of 2019,” added Mr. Buzy.
“The enormous commercial success Paragon is experiencing has created significant opportunities for us in the talent space – we are quickly becoming a destination employer for some of the most accomplished minds in the field and for those looking to become industry leaders in the gene therapy space,” stated Ruby Hofmann, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development. “This is a great time to be part of the Paragon team.”
These appointments and promotions are designed to support Paragon’s expanded operations that include the day-to-day running of its new, world-class and state-of-the-art 200,000 square-foot Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) gene therapy biomanufacturing facility in Maryland’s Anne Arundel County. The facility is equipped with 500L and 2000L single-use bioreactors for clinical trial and commercial material production. Paragon also has additional research laboratory space for process optimization and scale-up at its location within the University of Maryland BioPark in Baltimore City.
About Paragon Bioservices, Inc.
Paragon Bioservices is an industry-leading, private-equity backed CDMO whose focus is the development and manufacturing of cutting-edge biopharmaceuticals. Paragon aims to build strong client partnerships with the world’s best biotech and pharma companies, focusing on transformative technologies, including gene therapies (AAV), next-generation vaccines, oncology immunotherapies (oncolytic viruses), and other complex biologics. For more information, please visit www.paragonbioservices.com.
Mr. Henrickson was promoted to Senior Vice President of Manufacturing from his previous role as Vice President of Manufacturing. He is responsible for the company’s development and defining of its GMP manufacturing needs. Most recently, Mr. Henrickson worked to ensure that the new facility is prepared for commercial manufacturing. Through his leadership, Paragon has doubled the size of its manufacturing capacity and the manufacturing team now has more than 80 employees. Before joining Paragon, Mr. Henrickson spent time at KBI Biopharma as Senior Vice President and Site Head where he was responsible for operations, client interactions, R&D and process development functions at the Boulder, Colorado site. He has also held senior level positions at Merck and Amgen. He received his M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University and a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University.
Ms. Krohn joined Paragon in July 2017 as Senior Director, Quality Assurance, and will continue to serve as the strategic leader and operational manager for quality assurance and compliance. 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.
Mr. Holmes joins Paragon with over 25 years of experience in Operations including construction, commissioning and start-up of GMP facilities. Most recently, Mr. Holmes was Senior Director for Facilities & Engineering at MacroGenics. In this role, he was responsible for managing four facilities, totaling over 275, 000 square-feet. Before MacroGenics, he was responsible for all aspects of the U.S. operations facilities management at the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention and led all aspects of facilities, engineering and environmental health and safety concerns for a multi-building biotech operation at Life Technologies/Invitrogen Corp. Mr. Holmes holds an MBA from Indiana Wesleyan University and a B.S. degree in Public Affairs from Indiana University.
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 Ph.D. in Virology from Baylor College of Medicine and his B.S. degree in Microbiology from the Indiana University in Bloomington.
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