Jeffrey Aronin: A Man in the Business of Altruism

Jeff Aronin is a remarkable man who has dramatically improved the lives of those who have unusual medical conditions. A graduate of Northern Illinois University’s Business school who also holds a Masters in Business Administration from DePaul University, Aronin first worked in healthcare, then he became the CEO and Founder of Ovation Pharmaceuticals LLC., a company created in 2000. Mr. Aronin felt that having a company that focused on the needs of people who have rare medical conditions could greatly benefit them.


With a such a company, Aronin channeled his resources toward finding help for those people who suffered without help. By being engaged in this one focus, Aronin set his company apart from others in the biotech and pharmaceutical areas. One person for whom Aronin made a tremendous difference is Desiree Lyons, who suffered from Porphyria, an inherited genetic condition that affects the body’s ability to regulate itself.


When Lyon’s symptoms of Porphyria began at age 18, only a small number of experts knew about this disease. Sometimes she felt fine, but at other times she was in excruciating pain and near death, especially at times of monthly hormone activity. Fortunately, Desiree Lyon found Pahematin, an injectable drug which helped her immensely. But, when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration demanded that the laboratories that produced and sold this drug have a complete plant upgrade or future manufacturing would be prohibited, the company decided to stop production. Lyon, who had founded the American Porphyria Foundation (APF) was extremely distraught after learning that only 100 vials in the U.S. Fortunately, Mr. Aronin, and Ovation Pharmaceuticals helped by producing the needed drug. Aronin eventually sold Ovation and founded Paragon Biosciences to invest in biotechnology companies that aid people like Desiree Lyons whose medical needs are not met. Paragon Biosciences has as its aim the identification of unmet medical needs and new advances in science. It then builds companies that will market new medications.


In 2016 the altruistic Mr. Aronin was awarded the Medallion for Entrepreneurship from Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society for his concern and dedication to encouraging researchers to develop medicines that will improve the well-being of those with rare health conditions.


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