Jeff Aronin Shares Why He Developed A Passion For Finding Treatments For Rare Diseases


For over twenty years Jeff Aronin has been one of America’s top entrepreneurs in the biotechnology sector. Since 2010 he has been the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Paragon Biosciences, a company he founded to develop treatments for rare and orphaned diseases. His company invests in firms designed to treat diseases for which no one has developed a cure or for which the treatments are limited. Paragon Biosciences also incubates these firms and provides them with the resources they need to achieve success.

When he was younger Jeff Aronin had the opportunity to shadow a doctor. This doctor had a child as a patient who was experiencing constant seizures. The doctor decided to treat this patient with a medicine rather than having him undergo major brain surgery. Jeff Aronin says that he learned from this experience that pharmaceuticals can be very powerful and beneficial for people. He developed a passion for healthcare from this experience and wanted to develop new drugs for people who have diseases that have been neglected simply because not that many people have it.

The first company that Jeff Aronin founded in the healthcare industry was Ovation Pharmaceuticals, Inc. He founded this firm in 2000 and was its CEO. It was at this firm that he developed his overall strategy for developing drugs which is to identify diseases lacking treatment options, establish a company to develop drugs to treat that disease, and to provide it with all necessary resources and leadership. He sold this company in 2009 for $900 million.

Jeff Aronin serves as the chairman of the board for the companies he creates through Paragon Biosciences. This includes Harmony Biosciences and Castle Creek Pharmaceuticals. In this role, he provides guidance to the executive team and access to his years of experience in the industry. This leadership has led to 13 new drugs approvals by the FDA, a record that is only matched by the largest pharmaceutical companies. He also founded MATTER in Chicago, Illinois, which is incubating over 200 new companies all devoted to creating innovative new treatments.