Our goal is to catalyze the development and improvement of a broad portfolio of projects under development of early-staged novel therapeutics and diagnostics across a wide range of disease/therapeutic areas. Eventually, we aim to transform clinical outcomes through sub-licensing and commercialization to create value and generate income for further expansion of our project portfolio and sustainable business growth.
We are currently developing drug and device candidates in several disease/therapeutic areas. We believe that by diversifying our research efforts, it would increase the likelihood that at least one of our projects will achieve clinical success and therefore add value to the Company. As of December 31, 2017, we have obtained 11 exclusively licenses of technologies across the areas of neurology, infectious diseases, gastroenterology, oncology, surgical robotics and natural health.
We have selected innovations for development which we believe are of superior scientific quality, whilst taking into account the potential market size and demand for same, for example, taking into consideration whether the relevant product can satisfy significant unmet medical needs. In particular, Aptorum Therapeutics Limited, a subsidiary of Aptorum Group, has established a Scientific Assessment Committee, which helped us to select our current projects and which we expect will provide input from a scientific perspective towards any future opportunities for acquiring or licensing life science innovations. We intend to continue expanding our pipeline and exploring acquisitions or licenses of additional products which may be able to attain orphan drug designations (e.g., rare types of cancer) or satisfy significant unmet medical needs and that show strong preclinical and/or early clinical data to provide promising opportunities for clinical and commercial success.
In building and developing our product portfolio, we believe that accessing external innovation, expertise and technology through collaboration with leading academic institutions and CROs is a vital and cost-efficient strategy. We have established strong relationships with leading academic institutions around the world and expect to continue to strengthen our collaborations by, for example, seeking to provide their affiliated Principal Investigators resources through sponsorship to conduct further research in specialty fields of interest and association with personnel connected to our current project companies, in exchange for obtaining for the Company the first right to negotiate for an exclusive license to any resulting innovations. In addition, we have entered and will continue to actively source arrangements with pharmaceutical companies, in most cases in roles as contract research organizations, to streamline the development of our projects.
We believe collaborations between the R&D Center operated by APD and the scientists engaged in work for our project companies will enhance clinical and commercial potential of the projects. In addition, APD will assist the project companies by engaging external pharmaceutical companies and/or contract research organizations to outsource any part of the preclinical or clinical development work that cannot be performed by the R&D Center in order to obtain the resources necessary for our development process.
We believe the combination of our management’s expertise and experience, with their academic and commercial networks make us an effective platform for advancing healthcare innovations towards clinical studies and commercialization in key global markets. We have assembled a management team with global experience and an extensive record of accomplishments in medical administrations and identification, acquisition, development and global registration of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical drug and device candidates through commercial launches. We also employ key management personnel with banking and financial experience, which enhances our capability to establish the most efficient financial structure for the development of our programs.
The PRC is the world’s second largest healthcare market and we plan to market our products there in the future as part of our overall growth strategy. In October 2017, the PRC government announced that the country is planning to accept trial data gathered overseas to speed up drug approvals, which is a potential boon for foreign pharmaceutical companies. We believe strategically locating our principal businesses in Hong Kong, as a Special Administrative Region of the PRC, may provide us distinctive advantages in accessing the PRC healthcare market. Two of our key collaborators, The University of Hong Kong (the “HKU”) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (the “CUHK”) have received clinical drug trial accreditation by the CFDA for their clinical trial units/centers.
The Hong Kong government pays close attention to the development of the biotechnology sector in Hong Kong and provides support and funding. We intend to aggressively seek government support from Hong Kong for our product development and to facilitate the development of some of our projects.