Chief Executive Officer
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Like many new parents, David Johnson found himself in the medicine aisle looking for a solution when his first child had a fever. He read the ingredients in several medicines and was baffled at the number of unrecognizable, unpronounceable and artificial inactive ingredients on the label.
Johnson questioned why most name-brand, over-the-counter drugs contained some form of artificial dyes and sweeteners, common allergens like lactose and gluten, and countless other artificial fillers. He wondered, during a time when other industries such as beauty, personal care and food and beverage, were shifting toward clean labels, why not medicine? Together, Johnson and his business partner set out to clean up the medicine aisle with their company, Genexa.
Over the next three years, the pair met with manufacturers and eventually created the IP for an organic preservative system for medicine that allowed Genexa to make the first clean medicines for infants, kids and adults with the same active ingredients as category leaders. Their medicines lack unnecessary artificial fillers, including artificial sweeteners, dyes and preservatives.
Genexa is the first and only medicine company to create clean over-the-counter medicines “with the same effective active ingredients people need, but without the unnecessary, artificial inactive ingredients they don’t,” the company said. “We’re on a mission to revolutionize the (over-the-counter) aisle with effective and clean medicines because we believe ingredients matter.” Johnson expanded the company’s retail base so Genexa products are now available in over 45,000 retailers nationwide. In 2021, Genexa completed a $60 million Series A, the largest Series A ever for a consumer pharmaceutical company. The round included some of the most well-regarded investors and a host of A-list celebrities that have come together to change the medicine aisle. Also in 2021, Genexa expanded into Walmart. In 2022, the company added distribution into Walgreens, Publix, Albertsons/Safeway and other food and drug retailers. Looking forward, Genexa will continue to advocate for the removal of artificial inactive ingredients from the medicine aisle.
“Now, more than ever, consumers are seeking out options with clean ingredients across all categories,” the company said. “In the medicine category, we know it’s possible to provide consumers with a clean choice, yet we are the first and only clean medicine company providing families with a clean option. Now that we’ve paved the way and have removed the artificial dyes, sweeteners and preservatives used by category leaders and private-label brands, we would love to push the rest of the industry in this direction.”
Prior to joining the army, David attended culinary school, was a head chef in the restaurant industry and is a huge foodie still today!