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Sep 28, 2020



Paula Ragan is the Founder and CEO of X4 Pharmaceuticals, a clinical-stage and product-focused oncology company. Their mission is to develop the best in class CXCR4 antagonists, a small molecule cited for its potential for having anti-carcinogenic functions and benefits. Paula has over 15 years of leadership experience in operations and corporate development. As an entrepreneur and management leader, Paula is known to possess skills in strategic vision, maintaining operational focus, and key management attraction.


Paula joins me today to discuss her journey into entrepreneurship and the flashpoints that eventually led to founding X4 Pharmaceuticals. She describes her roles as a leader and how the team she built around her complements her skills. She explains how science has driven her career trajectory since middle school and why she wanted to start a company in the biotech industry. She shares her competitive nature as a leader as well as how she responded to detractors. Paula also discusses some of the challenges she faced on her way to success and how she learned to leverage failure.


"When you're behind the wheel for the first time, it's huge to be thoughtful and recognize the freedom and responsibility you have with that." - Paula Ragan





This week on The Virtual Campfire Podcast:


  • Who Paula is and her contributions to the biotech industry.
  • Paula's fascination with science in middle school and how she cultivated her passion.
  • When Paula founded X4 Pharmaceuticals and why she wanted to focus on cancer patients.
  • The trials and tribulations of transitioning from academia to entrepreneurship.
  • Comparing her journey into entrepreneurship to flying an airplane.
  • How networking greatly impacted her leadership learning curve.
  • Responding to naysayers and succeeding through failure.
  • How Paula motivates her employees to continue their work, despite the pandemic.
  • Where Paula struggled the most in her journey as a leader.



Our Favorite Quotes:


  • "The ingredients for sustainable companies are management teams, strategy, and convincing investors to believe in that strategy." - Paula Ragan
  • "You have to keep leveraging what you learn and reinvesting it." - Paula Ragan
  • "It's important to complement yourself and recognize when you need to do it." - Paula Ragan



Resources Mentioned:




Connect with Paula Ragan:






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