IVCA Feature: New Member Profile of Paragon Biosciences

IVCA Feature: New Member Profile of Paragon Biosciences

May 1, 2019

The membership of the Illinois Venture Capital Association keeps expanding with each new addition, connecting to the comprehensive roster of Venture Capital, Private Equity and the support industries. Members have opportunities in IVCA networking, lobbying support and participation in the development of new ideas and educational events within the association. The latest new member are Paragon Biosciences, a firm that identifies unmet patient needs, invests in the development of novel medicines, and incubates biopharmaceutical companies.

The following is a Q&A profile with Paragon Biosciences, which explores the firm’s background and their expectations for interacting with the IVCA.

New Member: Paragon Biosciences

Representative: Michael Organ, VP of Communications

IVCA: What is a brief history and background of the Paragon Biosciences?

Paragon Biosciences: Paragon is a life science innovator that invests in, builds, and advises bioscience companies. Our mission is to serve patients living with severe medical conditions which do not yet have adequate treatments. Paragon’s portfolio of independently-run bioscience companies focuses on biopharmaceuticals, AI-enabled life science products, and advanced treatments such as cell and gene therapies. Paragon’s first portfolio company was launched in 2016 ... the portfolio currently consists of six companies with additional launches anticipated.

IVCA: Why did the firm decide to join the Illinois Venture Capital Association?

Paragon Biosciences: Paragon believes that investment from VCs and others is essential to support the success of entrepreneurs. Illinois is blessed with a culture of entrepreneurship and we are honored to find ways to support that innovation. Paragon’s Chairman and CEO Jeff Aronin is proud to have founded MATTER Chicago – an incubator of healthcare companies – and he continues to mentor and support entrepreneurs. IVCA shares our common values.

IVCA: What differentiates Paragon Biosciences approach to investing?

Paragon Biosciences: To support the success of its independently run portfolio companies, Paragon contributes Bioscience Innovation CapitalTM, consisting of medical and commercial feasibility analysis, high-risk funding, NewCo start-up services and initial back-office support -- complemented by clinical and regulatory guidance.

IVCA: You are known for your innovation, what is the approach to that concept?

Paragon Biosciences: It starts with research ... Paragon considers severe medical conditions where current treatments are inadequate. Then we explore whether our expertise and resources are best positioned to catalyze the development of an improved therapy that delivers value to all stakeholders: patients, clinicians, payers, and investors. Next, we invest ... Paragon and our top-tier financial partners invest long-term capital to research pharmaceutical compounds, investigate gene and cell therapies, and launch the bioscience companies that complete clinical trials and commercialize those treatments.

Another approach is the build ... Paragon helps our early-stage portfolio companies to go further and faster via our shared facilities, our ‘day one’ turnkey systems and back-office services, such as accounting, human resources, and information technology. After that, the portfolio companies operate independently. And finally the advisement ... Paragon continues to support its portfolio companies with expert advice, including legal, clinical and regulatory specialists who provide a level of expertise that is unavailable to most other early-stage bioscience companies.

IVCA: What does Paragon Biosciences hope to achieve in their interaction with the VC?PE community within the IVCA?

Paragon Biosciences: Paragon hopes to contribute to IVCA’s goal of promoting successful investment activity, which in health care means supporting Illinois entrepreneurs who are finding cures to the toughest medical conditions.

For more information on Paragon Biosciences, go to Paragonbiosci.com