OC50 2023: Hans Keirstead



WHY: Stem cell pioneer currently at the helm of Aivita Biomedical, an Irvine-based biotech company specializing in stem cell applications to develop personalized vaccines against cancer and COVID-19; and Immunis Inc., a local biotechnology company developing a novel treatment for age and disease-related immune decline. 2022 Business Journal Innovator of the Year Award winner.

BY THE NUMBERS: Served as a professor at the University of California, Irvine, where he founded, directed and raised money to build the $77 million Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center. Started and sold four high-tech health companies.

FUTURE PLANS: Linked up with locally based TAE Life Sciences, which is developing a new treatment for difficult-to-treat malignant cancers. The partnership is intended to address “an unmet need in glioblastoma treatment,” the companies said, referring to malignant cancers that affect the brain and spine.

IN THEIR WORDS: “Advancements in biomarker capture and identification remain an elusive but critical step in improving cancer care,” Keirstead said of the TAE link-up. “TAE has an incredible bullet. What they need is a targeting mechanism. If anyone can win the race against cancer, I’m cheering them on.”

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