Menu

Junk Land

A lot about nothing

Jeff Aronin Adopts Patients With Orphan Diseases

Try to imagine suffering from an agonizingly painful disease so rare that it goes undiagnosed for a decade. Desiree Lyon doesn’t have to imagine that scenario. Ms. Lyon suffers from a rare disease (also known as an orphan disease) called acute intermittent porphyria.

 

Porphyria can adversely affect urinary health, attack the central nervous system and cause severe abdominal pain. Desiree Lyon endured 100 flare-ups of the latter.

 

After being diagnosed Ms. Lyon found relief from injections of the drug Panhematin. Panhematin was taken off the market after the company that produced it, Abbott Laboratories, decided to stop production of Panhematin rather than revamp the production facility.

 

Fortunately, rare disease suffers have a friend and ally in Jeff Aronin. In 2000 Mr. Aronin founded Ovation Pharmaceuticals. Ovation kept Panhematin on the market by educating the medical community about porphyria. This education led to the diagnosis of enough cases of porphyria to make producing a treatment profitable.

 

The DePaul University graduate was inspired to put his MBA to use producing pharmaceuticals after meeting a child who suffered seizures. Since the seizures could be controlled with meds the boy was spared undergoing a risky surgery.

 

A humanitarian first and foremost Mr. Aronin decided his company would focus on developing treatments for rare diseases. Within nine years Ovation was so successful that it was purchased for $900 million by the Danish company Lundbeck. Lundbeck retained Jeff Aronin as CEO.

 

Today, Jeff Aronin continues his work on behalf of those with rare diseases as Chairman and CEO of Paragon Biosciences. Paragon finds financing and talent for start-up pharmaceutical companies.

 

Harmony Biosciences is one of the companies Paragon helped to get established. A research company Harmony focuses on diseases that affect the central nervous system. These diseases include narcolepsy an inability of the body to regulate sleep cycles causing unusual sleepiness during waking hours. Harmony is also seeking a treatment for a symptom of narcolepsy a sudden loss of strength known as cataplexy.

 

The Aronin Family Foundation advocates for patients with rare diseases. The foundation has also made considerable donations to medical facilities around the world.

Jorge Moll Was At The Head Of A Ground Breaking 2006 Study That Has Shed Light On Human Motivation To Help Others:

Jorge Moll is a Brazilian neuroscientist who serves in the role of President-Director at the highly respected D’Or Institute for Research and Education located in Rio De Janiero, Brazil. He is a graduate of Rio De Janiero’s Federal University’s medical school. He embarked on his highly successful career in neuroscience after completing his residency at the same institution. Jorge Moll’s publications in this field are many in number and include works on topics ranging from social behavior in the human species including behavior revolving around moral judgement, ADHD, depression and the human emotions of guilt, embarrassment and shame. Jorge Moll is also a distinguished member of several prestigious scientific societies including the International Neuroethics Society, the Brazilian Academy of Sciences and the Society for Neuroscience.

 

Jorge Moll was the head of a revolutionary study that took place back in 2006. The landmark study, which took place at the National Institute of Health has shed light on some interesting questions regarding the way brain and its physiology has an impact on a person’s moral compass. Jorge Moll conducted the study along with his colleague, neuroscientist Jordan Grafman. The basis of this groundbreaking study was a scan of the brains of those participating in the study while they are given different scenarios regarding giving money to philanthropic organizations versus keeping the money for themselves. The results that the study yielded were very interesting and showed clearly that people experienced activation in the primitive areas of their brains when they did something that benefitted others rather than themselves. This runs contrary to the idea that concepts like morality emanate from a more high system of thinking and may well come from the same areas of the brain that validates more base emotions such as sex or enjoyment of food. The implication is that humans give back to others because it activates the pleasure centers of the brain. There is a further suggestion that Jorge Moll points out from the results of this study. The human concept of right and wrong may originate in these same areas of the brain and may be activated by these same types of actions.