By Rob Wright, Chief Editor, Life Science Leader
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“The first step was convincing my mother and husband that this was a good thing to do,” shares Andrea Pfeifer.
Apparently, the two thought she might be experiencing a midlife crisis. Why? Having completed a Ph.D. in toxicology and cancer research, followed by a post-doc in molecular carcinogenesis at the NIH in Bethesda, MD., Andrea Pfeifer had climbed the corporate ladder at Nestlé. In 2002 when she was having that conversation with her husband and mother, she was the head of Nestlé’s Global Research in Lausanne, Switzerland, with leadership responsibility for more than 600 people. Yet, despite her years of accomplishments at Nestlé, she was convinced it was time to leave the food industry behind and cofound AC Immune, a biopharma focused on one of the most difficult areas — Alzheimer’s disease (AD).