Paragon Bioservices has announced 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 (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 Virginia and 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.
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.
"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," said 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," said 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.