Jeff Aronin, Applying Innovation to Healthcare

Paragon Biosciences is a Chicago-based incubator and investor that builds and grows leading biotechnology companies that focuses on patient need, the science behind the disease and building great companies to quickly bring novel treatments to patients. Chairman and CEO Jeff Aronin and Paragon have an outstanding track record in what matters most: getting medicines approved, with some 13 new drugs approved, on par with most Big Pharma companies over the past decade.

The company’s successful strategy is based on a three-step process: understanding the patient need, identifying novel science to treat the disease, and attracting top investors and business leaders to build world-class companies to get medicines approved.

Paragon identifies diseases where the patient need is highest and treatment availability is most scarce. Two companies that are part of the Paragon family – Castle Creek Pharmaceuticals and Harmony Biosciences – are working on developing novel medications for unmet medical needs (

Many of the medicines Paragon’s companies will develop will be the first and only approved treatments for the diseases and conditions they target. This focus draws great interest from top investors who share this vision. As one example, in October 2017, Paragon was the lead investor in one of the largest equity raises in biotech: $270 million for Harmony Biosciences, which has since grown to a raise of nearly $300 million.

Castle Creek, for example, has a strong pipeline of potential medicines to treat rare skin conditions like epidermolysis bullosa simplex, a devastating condition that affects young children causing the skin to tear and blister to form at the slightest abrasion. Harmony is focused on central nervous system disorders, including narcolepsy and cataplexy, diseases that can not only interrupt the wake/sleep cycle, but also lead those suffering to withdraw from everyday activities.

Groundbreaking discoveries require scientific rigor, technology, and an unyielding commitment to patents. As a result, Paragon provides its portfolio companies with dedicated experts and cutting-edge resources. In addition, Paragon connects its companies with clinical experts and others in the industry who can provide strategy, guidance, and support necessary to ensure important medicines reach patients through the help of Jeff Aronin.

The door is open for a new way to approach drug development. A more rational approach to drug development — starting with the patient, following the science and creating a medicine – is what drives Paragon and what excites them about the future.

Jeff Aronin’s strategy and Paragon’s development model are exactly what healthcare needs today: an efficient, focused strategy that puts patients first and addresses true unmet medical needs.