In 2003 Prof. Dr. Andrea Pfeifer, who holds a PhD in Toxicology/Cancer research, co-founded AC Immune and acts as CEO since then. Prior to that she was head of Nestlé's Global Research in Lausanne, Switzerland and managed a group of more than 600 people. She also co-founded the Nestlé Venture Capital Fund, a € 100Mio. Life Sciences corporate venture fund. She serves as chairwoman of the Biotechmedinvest AG Investment Fund, Basel and AB2Bio, Lausanne and is member of the Supervisory Board of Symrise AG, Holzminden. Prof. Pfeifer is a member of the the CEOi Initiative on Alzheimer’s Disease. She was recognized in 2009 as Technology Pioneer by the WEF and one of the top 10 women in biotech from Fierce Biotech.
Prof. Andrea Pfeifer speaks on her efforts in Alzheimer and Dementia research as a scientist and as CEO of AC Immune. As a child with parents affected by the disease, she has always seen a dire need for solutions to something that afflicts an enormous part of the population. Despite the intangibility of a lot of the research in her field, Andrea Pfeifer stresses the importance of structure and planning while striving for progress. Optimism is also a factor, as well as the ability to see progress, even if it is only in the sense of having learned something new. It’s important to be an optimist, but in research, it’s important to also have a vision. In AC Immune, financing, company culture and structure were carefully considered with the future growth and development of the company in mind. One decision Prof. Pfeifer would make differently today would be to look for American investors earlier, seeing as the USA is more advanced concerning medical research. It remains her dream and passion to find a lasting treatment for neurodegenerative diseases.