Despite their common Wildcat heritage, Hallal (psychology) and Paglia (biochemistry and molecular biology) didn’t meet at UNH. But their careers in the biotechnology industry — Hallal is the former president and CEO of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, and Paglia was the vice president of chemistry, manufacturing and controls at Oncorus, Inc.— have united them in a new venture, ElevateBio. We caught up with the duo in the company’s future home outside Boston, more than 100,000 square feet that will become a state-of-the-art research and development and manufacturing center for cell and gene therapies, which use the body’s own cells to correct abnormal genes or fight diseases like cancer.
THE UNH ADVANTAGE
“The cellular and protein characterization tools that I learned at UNH were fundamental to being able to understand gene and cell therapy products and the processes used to develop them. And I learned a lot about collaborating between departments — UNH does that well.”
Mike Paglia, ElevateBio senior vice president of chemistry, manufacturing and controls
“We’re going to be on the tip of the spear for cell and gene therapy innovation. One of the greatest barriers to bringing cell and gene therapies to patients with devastating and deadly diseases is high-quality process development and manufacturing. ElevateBio will create partnerships with leading academic researchers and accelerate each step of the development process to advance our cell therapies and save patients’ lives.”
David Hallal, ElevateBio co-founder, chairman, CEO