Life science incubator Paragon Biosciences grabs new CEO for investment arm

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Biotech, digital health and medtech incubator Paragon Biosciences has hired Kerensa Jimenez as the new CEO of its capital markets group Paragon Health Capital.

Jimenez already has a connection to the firm, coming from being MD at Octagon Capital Group, a merchant bank that has led numerous transactions for Paragon portfolio companies over the past several years.

Now, she comes on board as chief will “spearhead all financings, mergers and acquisitions advisory services, and capital planning for Paragon Biosciences' portfolio of innovative life science companies,” the firm said in a statement.

Her new remit of companies include: Cell and gene therapy biotech Castle Creek Biosciences; Emalex Biosciences, which focuses on rare neuro disorders; protein engineering company Evozyne; rare disease focused Harmony Biosciences (which just set terms for its $100 million IPO); AI diagnostic firm Qlarity Imaging; and Skyline Biosciences, which is working on therapies to treat oral precancerous lesions.

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“Since 2017, Paragon Biosciences and its partners have invested or committed to invest more than $1 billion to build life science companies, and we expect ongoing investment of up to $500 million per year,” said Jeff Aronin, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Paragon Biosciences.

“We have had the privilege of working closely with Kerensa for many years and believe her M&A and capital markets expertise will further enhance our capabilities as we continue on our mission of solving complex human and societal challenges by accelerating development of novel therapies and life science breakthroughs.”