Vita 34 - the largest private stem cell bank in Germany

One stem cell does not make a corporation

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Headquarter of Vita 34 at the Leipzig Bio City

Vita 34 AG domiciled in Leipzig is the largest and most experienced stem cell bank in the German-speaking countries. The corporation founded in 1997 specializes in the storage of stem cells from umbilical cord blood and tissue as well as the preparation of stem cell transplants from umbilical cord blood. At present, they store the umbilical cord blood and tissue of about 145,000 children from Germany and other European countries. Vita 34 was able to prove the top quality of the stored stem cell preparations in already 30 applications.

Employees and management all share their belief in progress and innovation in stem cell therapy, which bears enormous medical potential. Vita 34 wants to participate actively in shaping this development. This does not only involve special professional knowledge in the fields of chemistry, biology, biotechnology, and medicine, but also the courage and the far-sightedness to lead an enterprise safely, innovatively, and constantly growing into the future between the conflicting fields of research and economy.

Figures and facts concerning Vita 34

  • Founded in April 1997
  • Headquarters and own stem cell laboratory in Leipzig
  • Head count 140 (as at December 2015)
  • About 145,000 stored umbilical cord blood preparations (as at July 2016)
  • Overall performance EUR 18.5 million (as at December 2015)
  • 30 applications of stored umbilical cord blood (as at July 2016)
  • Field of business: collection, preparation and long-term storage of blood and stem cell products for treating various disorders, research and development of new medical products and therapies based on stem cells

Management board

Dr. André Gerth

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Dr. André Gerth (CEO)

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Vita 34 AG

Born in 1964, 2 children

Responsible for strategy, production, research and development

Dr. André Gerth was appointed to the management board in June 2012 and appointed CEO on July 16, 2012.

Since 1991, he has been managing partner in several companies, among others CEO of BioPlanta GmbH, which he founded in 1992, until it was taken over by and merged with Vita 34.

Dr. André Gerth has many years of experience in the fields of biotechnology and project management and a broad international network of contacts. His company was awarded the Innovationspreis Mitteldeutschland in 2009 for developing a bioreactor technology for industrial production on the basis of plant stem cells.

 

 

Dr. Wolfgang Knirsch

Dr. Wolfgang Knirsch (CMO)

Chief Sales Officer (CMO) of Vita 34 AG

Born in 1960, 2 children

Dr. Wolfgang Knirsch was appointed CMO of Vita 34 in June 2016.

Dr. Wolfgang Knirsch received his PhD in inorganic chemistry by RWTH Aachen in 1993 and started his career in the pharmaceutical industry. He managed various national sales and marketing organizations with Aventis and Merck KGaA successfully. Between 2006 and 2015, Dr. Wolfgang Knirsch organized the operational and strategic marketing of Biotest AG. In his last position, he was responsible for international sales and increased revenues and results of cooperation partners worldwide in his sector in the long-term by consistently implementing the marketing and sales strategies.

Besides other therapeutic areas, he commands comprehensive knowledge in the fields of hemato-oncology, gynecology, and obstetrics.

 

 

Falk Neukirch

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Falk Neukirch (CFO)

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of Vita 34 AG

Born in 1971, 2 children

Falk Neukirch was appointed CFO of Vita 34 in October 2015.

He graduated in business management from TU Dresden. Afterwards, he worked for a major auditing company for several years and then assumed various executive functions in the finance sector. From 2007 to 2014, Mister Neukirch worked as Director Controlling at the quoted First Sensor AG and successfully conducted several business acquisitions during this time. Between 2014 and October 2015, Mister Neukirch worked as Financial Director with general commercial power of representation at BGH Edelstahlwerke GmbH.

Falk Neukirch commands comprehensive knowledge in the international financial reporting standards (IFRS) required for quoted companies as well as experience in the acquisition and integration of businesses.

 

Supervisory board

Following the resolution on the amendment of the articles of association to extend the supervisory board, three new members were elected to the supervisory board at the general meeting July 28, 2015. The new members of the supervisory board are Mister Artur Isaev, Mister Heinrich Sundermeyer, and Mrs. Gerrit Witschaß. Furthermore, Dr. med. Mariola Söhngen was elected the replacement member.

At the meeting on July 28, 2015, the supervisory board elected the member of the supervisory board Mister Alexander Starke the new vice chairman of the supervisory board. He took over the position from Dr. Holger Födisch the same day, who remains a member of the supervisory board. Chairman of the supervisory board is and remains Dr. Hans-Georg Giering.

With effect from December 31, 2015, Mister Heinrich Sundermeyer resigned from the supervisory board for health reasons. Dr. Mariola Söhngen takes over his position with effect from January 1, 2016.

 

 

Special characteristics of stem cells from umbilical cord blood

  • Stem cells from umbilical cord blood are unique

    The tissue characteristics of your own stem cells are perfectly consistent. They are as unique as the fingerprint and as individual as the personality.

  • Stem cells from umbilical cord blood are young

    Neonatal stem cells are not impaired by age or environment yet. They are unpolluted, viable, usually free from viruses and bacteria, and divide at a very fast rate.

  • Stem cells from umbilical cord blood are flexible

    Stem cells from umbilical cord blood are particularly adaptive. They can become a variety of cell types because of their differentiation potential.

Research projects

Vita 34 is involved actively in application research and collaborates with universities and research institutions all over Europe. In the business year 2015, Vita 34 intensified its research activities and thus allows for the dynamic development in the field of regenerative medicine.

 

Leipzig University

Dr. Michael Cross

Differentiation of stem cells from umbilical cord blood

 

Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, Leipzig

Prof. Dr. med. Frank Emmerich and Dr. Johannes Boltze

Treatment of stroke

Therapeutic efficacy of adult stem cells depending on the age of cell population and receiving organism

 

Translation Center for Regenerative Medicine, Leipzig

Dr. Rüdiger Alt

Establishment and evaluation of VSEL stem cell for tissue repair

 

Leipzig University

Dr. Manja Kamprad

Expansion of stem cells from umbilical cord blood

 

Rostock University

Prof. Dr. med. Gustav Steinhoff

Treatment of cardiac infarction

 

Technical University Munich

Prof. Dr. med. Annette-Gabriele Ziegler

Treatment of diabetes type 1

 

Hannover Medical School

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Martin

Endothelial cells from umbilical cord blood for the production of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells)

 

Rostock University and Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, Leipzig

Dr. med. Can Yerebakan

Stem cell therapy in tetralogy of Fallot

 

Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology, BioPlanta GmbH Leipzig, and Leibniz Institute of Plant Biochemistry, Halle

Dr. Anika Schumann

The use of frost protection proteins for the cryo-preservation of umbilical cord blood

 

Leipzig University

Dr. med. Stephan Fricke

Mesenchymal stem cells from the umbilical cord for the treatment of graft-versus-host disease after the transplantation of blood stem cells

 

 

Glass laboratory

Vita 34 has its own specialized laboratory at the Bio City Leipzig. Thus, the entire process, from collection to transport, preparation and storage of umbilical cord blood  and tissue to it being handed over to attending physicians, lies in our hands. Paul Ehrlich Institute, an entity of the German Federal Ministry of Health, and other authorities, regularly monitor the laboratory and processes.

You are welcome to look over our shoulder and follow the preparation process at the GMP-compliant high-tech laboratory. Agree an appointment for a visit on location or check it out directly online with our virtual 360° laboratory tour.