Vita 34 - the largest private stem cell bank in Germany

One stem cell does not make a corporation


Headquarter of Vita 34 at the Leipzig Bio City

Founded in Leipzig in 1997 as the first private umbilical cord blood bank in Europe, Vita 34 is a full-range supplier of cryo-preservation and provides for the logistics to collect the blood, the preparation and the storage of stem cells from umbilical cord blood and tissue. Stem cells are a valuable source material for medical cell therapies. They are kept alive at temperatures of around minus 180 degrees Celsius to be able to apply them within the scope of medical treatment, when needed. More than 215.000 customers from Germany and 20 other countries already have opened stem cell deposits with Vita 34, thus providing for the health of their children.

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 130 (as at November 2017)
  • More than 215.000 stored umbilical cord blood preparations (as at September 2017)
  • 37 applications of stored umbilical cord blood (as at July 2018)
  • 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. Wolfgang Knirsch


Dr. Wolfgang Knirsch – CEO

CEO of Vita 34 AG

Dr. Wolfgang Knirsch, born in 1960, has been a member of the board of Vita 34 AG since June 2016 and was appointed CEO of Vita 34 AG in June 2017.

After he received his PhD in inorganic chemistry by RWTH Aachen, Dr. Wolfgang Knirsch made a shift from institutional research to the pharmaceutical industry in 1992. He started his career in the sales and marketing division of Hoechst AG. Later, he was in charge of the product management of internationally relevant ethical preparations of the successor company Aventis Pharma GmbH. When he went to work for Merck KGaA, he became responsible for new business and national marketing of the company’s most important product sector.

In 2005, Dr. Knirsch took over the management of the operational and strategic marketing of Biotest AG. After the successful restructuring and reorganization of the division, he made a shift to the international line of business in 2011. In his position as Vice President of International Business, he successfully advanced the strategically relevant department worth several hundred millions of Euros involving distribution partners worldwide.



Falk Neukirch


Falk Neukirch – CFO

CFO of Vita 34 AG

Falk Neukirch, born in 1971, was appointed CFO of Vita 34 in October 2015.

He successfully completed his studies of Business at the Technical University Dresden with the degree “Diplom-Kaufmann” [MBA]. Following his studies he worked for a large auditing firm for several years and assumed various management functions in the area of finance.

From 2007–2014 Mr. Neukirch was the Director of Controlling at the publicly traded First Sensor AG, and in this time accompanied several company acquisitions. His last position was as Finance Director and an authorized officer of BGH Edelstahlwerke GmbH.

Mr. Falk Neukirch has extensive knowledge in international accounting (IFRS) prescribed for publicly traded companies, as well as experience in company acquisitions and their integration.



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.

Safety and quality certified by:
  • Good Manufacturing Practice
  • Cord Blood Association