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Ex-Johnson & Johnson CEO joins R.I. biotech company

Former Johnson & Johnson Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky, left, puts his mask back on after speaking at an event on the White House campus in March 2021.Andrew Harnik

CUMBERLAND, R.I. — Alex Gorsky, the former CEO and chairman of pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson, was named lead director of Neurotech Pharmaceuticals Inc. on Wednesday.

Gorsky left Johnson & Johnson in January 2022 after a decade as CEO for “family health concerns.” He initially joined the company as a sales associate in 1988.

“As a visionary in patient focused healthcare, his expertise and enthusiasm for innovative technology will greatly enrich Neurotech’s mission to revolutionize treatments for various ocular diseases using our encapsulated cell therapy,” said Jim Mazzo, Neurotech’s executive chairman, in a statement Wednesday.

The Cumberland-based clinical stage biotech company was founded in 2001, and has been focused on developing therapies and implantable devices for chronic eye diseases. The company remains privately held and has less than 50 employees.


The news comes as Rhode Island’s life sciences sector has seen significant investments in the last year. Construction began last month to build a new 200,000-square-foot state health lab, new lab space is being developed in Providence’s Jewelry District, and there’s an appetite to create a state agency focused on investing and expanding in the local sector.

In a statement, Gorsky said he looked forward to using his experience to help the company “navigate in a rapidly evolving environment.”

The company’s “unique scientific approach and novel technology for the treatment of chronic eye diseases has the potential to provide access to important health options for patients around the world,” he said.

Gorsky sits on the boards of Apple, JPMorgan Chase, IBM, and the Travis Manion Foundation. He also serves on the board of advisors at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Alexa Gagosz can be reached at Follow her @alexagagosz and on Instagram @AlexaGagosz.