Professor Maree Smith Awarded Prestigious Industry Excellence Award

1 Oct 2015

UQ’s Professor Maree Smith has been awarded the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Industry Excellence Award for Outstanding Leadership, 2015.

Professor Smith is Executive Director of The Centre for Integrated Preclinical Drug Development at the Faculty of Medicine + Biomedical Sciences, and a Professor at UQ’s School of Pharmacy (Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences), and this award recognises her consistent and long-standing commitment to exceptional research, industry, and teaching excellence.

Professor Smith built the CIPDD over the past decade through skilful strategic leadership, deep scientific knowledge together with tireless effort and successful industry engagement.

In 2015, the CIPDD is recognized as the premier, GLP‐ accredited research Centre of its type in Australia.

To date, CIPDD personnel have completed over 600 TetraQ-branded research and development contracts in partnership with more than 200 industry and academic organisations in the biopharmaceutical sector globally.  

Professor Smith’s international leadership in drug discovery-translation is further underscored by success in commercialisation of her patented technologies.

In 2005, Spinifex Pharmaceuticals was formed as a UQ spin-out company in order to commercialise her novel research findings to create a first-in-class orally active drug for the relief of neuropathic pain and chronic inflammatory pain.

In 2012, this drug, called EMA401, was successful in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial in 183 patients with post-herpetic neuralgia, a type of pain that is often intractable.

Spinifex Pharmaceuticals was acquired by Novartis for US$200 million, plus significant milestone payments, reported by the financial press as the largest biotech deal ever in Australia.

Professor Smith was presented with the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Industry Excellence Award for Outstanding Leadership on 7 October, at AusBiotech 2015, Australia’s premier life sciences conference.


Media: Professor Maree Smith,; Ryan Sim, Marketing and Communications, Faculty of Medicine + Biomedical Sciences,