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University of Exeter Medical School

Dr. Carol Routledge

Dr. Carol Routledge

Chief Medical & Scientific Officer, Small Pharma and EIR for Exeter University



Carol Routledge is a dynamic R&D professional and drug development expert with over 30 years of experience within UK and US based pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies and the non-profit sector with a focus on drug acquisition and profiling of NCEs and biologics.  A combination of preclinical and clinical CNS experience gives the advantage of being able to apply a strong scientific rationale and innovative experimental approaches to clinical development for obtaining early proof of mechanism/concept. Her clinical experience spans both psychiatric and neurological indications, with a strong focus on understanding and treating mental health disorders. Roles in Syntex, Wyeth, BTG and GSK include leading drug discovery and development activities across several therapeutic areas but focussing strongly on neuroscience diseases and with an emphasis on translational medicine.

Carol also has experience managing a semi-philanthropic dementia fund with a key focus on identifying and developing novel disease-modifying mechanisms for the treatment of diseases that cause dementia, sourcing opportunities from academic research groups and small companies.  Recent expertise includes leading the research strategy, both preclinical and clinical, across Alzheimer’s Research UK for response-mode and strategic funding and for global projects.  As part of this Carol built and led, as Managing Director, an independent and global initiative focussed on the early detection of neurodegenerative diseases (EDoN).  Carol joined Small Pharma in 2020 as Chief Medical & Scientific Officer.  Small Pharma is a neuropharmaceutical biotech developing treatments for mental health disorders. 

Additional responsibilities include the following:

  • Board member of Alzinova AB, Sweden
  • Steering Committee member and Advisor of EDoN, UK
  • Advisory Board of Ro5, UK
  • Advisory Board of Cognetivitiy
  • Honorary Professor & EIR, Exeter University


  • BSc – 1st Class Honors in Zoology
  • PhD in neuropharmacology and neuroscience for The Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham

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Research interests

  • Developing treatments for mental health disorders with a current focus on psychedelic-assisted therapy
  • I play an active part in the development of a multimodal digital device, supported by AI and data science, to detect neurodegenerative diseases at an earlier stage than is possible today
  • I also advise for a company that is focused on using AI and data science to facilitate drug discovery and another that has a fascinating cognitive tool for detecting cognitive impairments in different disease conditions
  • Finally my EIR role at Exeter University helps me support researchers in realising the commercial ambition of their research projects

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