Peter Smith

Principal Scientist, New Modalities (Oligonucleotides), Astrazeneca

Peter is a synthetic organic chemist by training with over 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry. Originally graduating from Glasgow University, Peter spent a couple of years working for what was then Zeneca Agrochemicals (Jealott’s Hill Research Site, Berkshire) before carrying out his PhD at Heriot-Watt University followed by a post-doctoral position at University of Sussex.

In 2002 Peter joined AZ and since then has worked in a number of chemical science roles, progressing from the medicinal chemistry labs based at Alderley Park to non-GMP scale-up in the kilo-labs before finally joining the process development groups based in Macclesfield. In 2017 Peter moved to the New Modalities team within Early Chemical Development to take on the lead role for chemical development and manufacture of oligonucleotide drug substance supporting AstraZeneca’s growing early-phase clinical portfolio, where he currently holds a Principal Scientist position.

Peter has maintained a strong interest in academic research, supervising a number of AZ-funded CASE students as well as running internal research programs funded by the AZ Postdoctoral Scheme. In addition, Peter is currently AZ lead for a biocatalytic oligonucleotide synthesis work package, part of the Centre for Biocatalytic Manufacturing of New Modalities (CBNM), a Prosperity Partnership collaboration between AstraZeneca, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology and Prozomix. Peter will also take on the role of Industrial Chair within the pending NATA consortium “Biocatalytic Manufacturing of Nucleic Acid Therapeutics” due to start later this year addressing the UKRI-funded NATA Manufacture Research Challenge.

21 September 2023, GLASGOW