Rod Smith PhD


Rod is currently researching into effective stimulators of the innate immune system with a particular focus on macrophages. The company is based in Cambridge in the UK and has progressed its research in collaboration with colleagues in the University of Florence (Department of Experimental Clinical Medicine, and Experimental and Clinical Biomedical Sciences)  to publish over 10 papers in the stimulation of macrophages to treat cancer and infectious disease since 2012.

He achieved his PhD in 1991 the PhD was entitled “The Purification of an Aryl Dehalogenase from Arthrobacter strain TM-1” from Thames Polytechnic after a research period taken at CAMR, Porton Down, UK. The research studies involved the large-scale (150 L) culture of Arthrobacter strain TM-1 on 4-chlorobenzoate an example of a recalcitrant bio-accumulating compound.  4-Chlorobenzoate dehalogenase using water as the molecular oxygen donor and not oxygen to disrupt the aromatic ring was purified from cell extracts. He secured a position at CAMR in the Division of Biotechnology working on the degradation other recalcitrant compounds such as DDT and Dieldrin using porphyrin based systems. His moved to the Division of Biology at CAMR and into the European Collection of Animal Cell Cultures (ECACC). Work involved the scale up of animal cell cultures to 50L for recombinant protein and initial vaccine studies and controlling the virus patent deposits.        

After 10 years a move to Cantab Pharmaceuticals in Cambridge  to head up a group developing and scaling up of the company’s Disabled Infectious Single Cycle (DISC) herpes virus was made at a 50L scale which was transferred to GlaxoWellocme at a 500L scale. Other work involved developing manufacturing processes for Human Papilloma Virus vaccines in E .coli against cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN), Nessieria menigiditis and Vaccinia sp. against cervical cancer. 

He set up his own service company in 2003 developing small scale processes for start-up companies aiding their capability to secure additional funding and proof of concept work. The company was sold to Alpha Bioloigcs a GMP facility in Penang, Malaysia where he continued to work on overseeing the building of the GMP facility in Malaysia and designing the manufacturing processes that were to be used. All aspects of validation, GMP and the strategy for manufacture were undertaken. He moved after 2 years to join UCB in Slough as head of a Technical Transfer Group overseeing the transfer of a 12000L process for Cimzia (treatment for Rheumatoid arthritis and Crohn’s disease) into Lonza and Sandoz. 

Rod had a change back to Alpha based in Cambridge with a role to transfer developed processes from the group in Cambridge into the facility in Malaysia but following a new Alpha strategy helped to set up Macro Innovations in January 2012 as COO researching into macrophage stimulators to fight of infectious disease and cancers. Methodology development for understanding the immunology of the process is the major focus on current work.