Vita 34 - the largest private stem cell bank in Germany

One stem cell does not make a corporation

about-vita-34-company-headquarter-bio-city

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 150,000 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 150,000 stored umbilical cord blood preparations (as at April 2017)
  • 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. 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.

 

 

Alexander Starke

 

Alexander Starke

Member of management board of Vita 34 AG

Alexander Starke, born in 1974, has been a member of the management board of Vita 34 AG since June 2017.

As a graduated lawyer, he has been working in the field of bank and capital market law since 2010. Until 2015, Starke managed the department of bank and capital market law of an economically oriented, medium-sized law firm in Erlangen, where he was responsible among other things for the strategic counseling of companies managed by their owners. In 2015, he opened his own law firm specializing in bank and capital market law and is admitted to work as mediator and referee (Conciliation and Arbitration Rules for Construction Disputes – SOBau) in parallel since then. Since May 2012, Starke has been a member of the supervisory board of Vita 34 AG. He was appointed the vice president in July 2015 and delegated to the management board of Vita 34 AG in June 2017.

 

 

Supervisory board

In addition to passing the resolution of amending the articles of association as to reduce the number of members of the supervisory board from six to four, two new members were elected to the supervisory board at the general shareholders’ meeting on June 28, 2017. The new members of the supervisory board are Frank Köhler and Steffen Richtscheid.

At the following meeting, the supervisory board elected Frank Köhler the new chairman. He took this office in place of Dr. Hans-Georg Giering, whose term of office – like that of Alexander Starke and Dr. Holger Födisch – ended that day. Gerrit Witschaß remains the vice chairwoman and Dr. med. Mariola Söhngen remains the fourth member of the supervisory board.

With effect from the end of the general shareholders’ meeting on June 28, 2017, Artur Isaev resigned from the supervisory board of Vita 34 AG.

 

 

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.