Aurora Biosciences was a biotechnology company founded in 1995 in San Diego to commercialize fluorescence assays based on Roger Y. Tsien's discoveries concerning green fluorescent protein and its uses in basic research - work for which Tsien eventually won the 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry along with two other chemists.
Aurora was formed at a time when established pharmaceutical companies were seeking to harness the fruits of the Human Genome Project, which had overwhelmed them with potential drug targets, and the explosion of new research tools enabled by biotechnology, as well as revolutions in chemistry that allowed many more, and many more kinds, of potential drugs to be made.
In 2000, as the investment climate turned against platform companies, Aurora started to work on its own drug discovery programs. It struck a deal with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation under which CFF invested $30 million in Aurora, with the promise of further investment based on success, in exchange for Aurora agreeing to discover and develop new drugs to treat cystic fibrosis. This was one of the first examples of venture philanthropy. Aurora was acquired by Vertex Pharmaceuticals in 2001, but the arrangement with CFF continued and resulted in the discovery of ivacaftor in 2005 and the approval of that drug in 2012.
Highest paying job titles at Aura Biosciences include Clincal Operations Manager, Director, Quality Control, and Senior Scientist