Alex Gorsky currently sits on the boards of Apple, IBM, JPMorgan Chase, and the Travis Manion Foundation, as well as the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Board of Advisors.
Neurotech Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced today that Alex Gorsky has been elected to Neurotech’s board as lead director.
Gorsky is the former chairman and CEO of Johnson & Johnson.
According to a news release, under Gorsky’s leadership, Johnson & Johnson grew to become the world’s largest diversified healthcare company and one of the foremost innovators in research and development for emerging health technologies. His influence has shaped both the healthcare landscape and the greater business community through his work as a member of the Business Roundtable, the Business Council, and many industry groups.
The company noted that Gorsky currently sits on the boards of Apple, IBM, JPMorgan Chase, and the Travis Manion Foundation, as well as the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Board of Advisors.
“I am delighted to welcome Alex to Neurotech’s Board of Directors,” said Jim Mazzo, Neurotech’s executive chairman. “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.”
Gorsky lauded the opportunity with the firm, a private clinical stage biotech company.
“I am honored to join Neurotech’s board and look forward to using my experience to help the company navigate in a rapidly evolving environment,” he said in the news release. “I am inspired by the Lowy family’s long-term commitment. This 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.”
The company’s investigational NT-501 implant, designed to be implanted into the vitreous cavity of the eye, is a tiny hollow cylindrical membrane which encapsulates human epithelial cells genetically engineered to produce ciliary neurotropic factor (CNTF) continuously, a protein now clinically validated in Phase 3 clinical trials to slow the progression of macular telangiectasia type 2 (MacTel).
According to the company’s news release, encapsulated cell therapy (ECT) is an investigational first-in-class, platform technology that promotes continuous production of therapeutic proteins to the eye with the potential to treat a broad array of ocular diseases. It utilizes a proprietary, well-characterized retinal pigment epithelial cell line that is genetically engineered to produce therapeutically active biologics.
The company noted the cells are encapsulated in a semi-permeable membrane that allows for selective passage of therapeutic proteins. The ECT platform is inserted during a single outpatient surgical procedure through a small scleral incision, and can also be removed through the same incision, if desired. ECT has the potential to address the current limitations of intraocular drug delivery by allowing for and ensuring patient compliance, while reducing the treatment burden with one surgical procedure that can deliver the drug for at least 2 years.
About Macular telangiectasia type 2
MacTel, or idiopathic juxtafoveal macular telangiectasia type 2, is a rare neurodegenerative disease with characteristic alterations of the retinal vasculature and localized retinal degeneration.1 MacTel typically affects both eyes and causes a gradual deterioration in central vision.
1. Charbel Issa P, Gillies MC, Chew EY, Heeren TFC, Bird AC, Peto T, Holz FG, Scholl HPN (2013) Macular Telangiectasia Type 2. Prog. Retin. Eye Res. 34: 49-77.