For more than 20 years, Jeff Aronin has established himself as one of the top entrepreneurs in biotech and healthcare (LinkedIn). As Chairman and CEO of Paragon Biosciences, he is applying his industry expertise and entrepreneurial energy to building a leading investor and incubator of innovative biotech companies.
A passion for science driven by caring for patients
Early in his career, Jeff Aronin realized that healthcare was his passion. In fact, an experience, job shadowing a physician who was treating a child with constant seizures made a huge impact on his career decision. Instead of ordering up a major brain surgery, the physician opted to use a medicine, showing Aronin the power of pharmaceuticals.
That experience stayed with him as he began his career — bringing together a passion for science and an enthusiasm for building great companies. By 2000, he became the founder and CEO of his own startup, Ovation Pharmaceuticals Inc. The company’s success in bringing novel medicines to patients demonstrated the value of his strategy, rooted in understanding a patient’s need, identifying promising science, and focusing a team to get the medicine approved. In 2009, Ovation was purchased by Lundbeck for $900 million. Aronin was appointed the president and CEO to oversee the transition.
For the past 10 years, Jeff Aronin has served as chairman and chief executive officer of Paragon Biosciences, whose mission is to build innovative biotechnology companies that focus on developing important medicines for patients. His expertise in complex science and patient-focused drug development has made him one of the most successful, innovative leaders in the bioscience sector, addressing unmet needs for patients suffering from rare diseases. Jeff’s work as an entrepreneur and scientific visionary have contributed to the development and approval of more than a dozen new medicines and technologies.
He has also served as chairman of several life-science companies, including Paragon Pharmaceuticals, Castle Creek Pharmaceuticals, and Harmony Biosciences. Aronin’s focus on science and patients has driven his team to successfully get 13 new drugs approved, a level of success matched by few in the industry. Jeff Aronin has shared his perspective with other entrepreneurs who are seeking to grow their careers in healthcare (http://chicago.blueskyinnovation.com/vault/network/aronin-jeff/). He has made a strong commitment to biotech innovation in Chicago by founding MATTER, an incubator with more than 200 startup companies currently in various stages of development.
Paragon powers the next generation of biotech innovation
In a similar way, Paragon is developing a successful stable of innovative biotech companies focusing on addressing unmet needs of patients who have few, if any, available treatments. By following the strategy that has served him well throughout his career, Jeff Aronin has helped build out Paragon and its portfolio companies by attracting a strong team of entrepreneurial leaders, some of the top talents in the biotech industry, and blue-chip investors.
Paragon Biosciences first identifies diseases that have the highest need for treatment options. The team studies the underlying cause of a disease or condition to see what hasn’t been tried, or what new solution could lead to a better outcome for the patient. Next, the team identifies important science that could yield a novel treatment. Once Paragon has acquired the science, the team sets about building focused companies that conduct the important necessary clinical research and develop a regulatory and commercialization strategy to ensure the broadest possible access to a new medicine.
Research and development of medicines is a risky business. Many promising treatments may fail during the clinical trial phase of research. However, Jeff Aronin and his team have stayed focus on those illnesses most in need of a treatment and developing medicines with the greatest potential of coming to market — including some medicines others may have decided does not fit within their development strategy. That is a major reason why Paragon’s track record has been successful. By finding important unmet needs, breakthrough science and leading biotech talent, the Paragon strategy ultimately benefits patients by introducing novel medicines.
Jeff Aronin remains confident in the company and continued growth it has across the board. By sticking to its core mission and values, the realization of its goals ultimately comes down to proper execution with new and innovative treatments.