Jeff Aronin
Jeff Aronin: A Star Featured in HTDI
Ovation Pharmaceuticals
President & CEO, Lundbeck Inc.

Jeffrey S. Aronin is the president and chief executive officer of Lundbeck Inc., a biopharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes innovative medicines for severely ill patients with unmet medical needs. The company was established in March 2009 following the acquisition by H. Lundbeck A/S of Ovation Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – a privately held company Mr. Aronin founded in 2000 and built into a fast-growing biopharmaceutical company with a strong CNS pipeline and diverse base of marketed pharmaceutical medications.

Under Mr. Aronin’s leadership, Ovation Pharmaceuticals was widely recognized for its success and received awards that included Frost & Sullivan’s 2009 North American Entrepreneurial Company of the Year, Scrip’s 2006 and 2007 Pharmaceutical Company of the Year for companies with revenues up to $5 billion, and the 2007 Chicago Innovation Awards. Prior to founding Ovation and partnering with private equity firm GTCR, Mr. Aronin led MedCare Technologies, a publicly held healthcare company where he served as Chairman and CEO. He also held various executive positions at American Health Products Corporation where he led both Marketing and Business Development. Previously, he spent six years at Carter-Wallace, a Fortune-500 company, where he held several management positions within its pharmaceutical division.

In recognition of Mr. Aronin’s business leadership, he was named to the 2007 and 2008 Crain’s Chicago Business list of Top Health Care Executives, awarded Ernst & Young’s 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year among Emerging Companies (Lake Michigan area), named one of Pharmaceutical Executive’s 45 under 45, and recognized in 2005 and 2008 as one of the 100 Most Inspiring People in the life sciences industry by readers of PharmaVOICE magazine. Mr. Aronin was inducted into the Illinois Entrepreneur Hall of Fame in 2005 and in 2004 was listed by Crain’s as one of the 40 Most Influential People Under 40.

For his support of patient advocacy organizations, Mr. Aronin received the Partner of the Year award from the American Porphyria Foundation, the Keeper of the Flame award from the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago (EFGC), and the 2007 Rovner Award, the EFGC’s highest honor. He has been featured in more than 40 publications, including The Pink Sheet, New York Times, Pharmaceutical Executive and Scrip.

Mr. Aronin serves on several boards including Discover Financial Services (NYSE), the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers Association (PhRMA), the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry, the Young Presidents’ Organization, and the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center. In addition, Mr. Aronin has lectured at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, DePaul University and Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Mr. Aronin received his BS from Northern Illinois University and earned his MBA from DePaul University.

QLet's talk about the goat farm for starters.

A We developed a drug using genetically modified goats to help people whose blood doesn't clot. We insert a strand of human DNA - a protein that creates blood clotting - into a goat embryo's DNA. As the baby goat matures, it can produce this enzyme in its milk. We have a fully FDA-regulated goat farm that produces the ingredient used to make the drug. It's the first transgenic drug ever developed in the world.

QThe world thinks it understands entrepreneurs, but it's not that easy, is it?

A It's very difficult to get the same perspective as an entrepreneur if you haven't been one. I would think it would be very difficult to write about it.

QDon't get me started. So many CEOs were suggested for this book who didn't start companies, and our sole focus was, and is, about great company founders.

A I put it in three categories. First there's family business. Family business has its own set of challenges and can be very tough. But you're not an entrepreneur if you didn't start it. Second, there's the professional manager who's hired to come run something. I don't care if it's Day Five of the company's existence. It's still different than being an entrepreneur. It doesn't mean you can't become one, and I'm not saying one is better or worse. It's just different. And then there's being an entrepreneur. That's what I'm passionate about.

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