We believe the value creation potential is higher for biopharmaceutical companies able to commercialize their proprietary products as compared to companies who have a partner to commercialize. The infrastructure investment and build-out of a commercial team prior to regulatory approval is typically costly and requires years of investment. In 2016, we launched a commercial platform in the U.S. to begin building out this infrastructure in advance of our launch of proprietary products. As part of our capital efficient strategy, we anticipate that our commercial team will market and sell a variety of in-licensed pharmaceutical products, which are therapeutically related to our proprietary portfolio, to cover the cost and expense of the infrastructure investment.
Using our resources to commercialize products in the oncology may create more value for investors than marketing product rights pre-commercialization. We believe commercialization risks can be offset by establishing oncology manufacturing operations (API, Manufacturing, etc.) and commercial operations (Multisource Oncology, Pharmacy, Hospitals, etc.) and deep relationships with Key Opinion Leaders before proprietary oncology product launch.
Our Commercial Operations
The U.S. Oncology market is highly complex with Gatekeepers, Influencers and Prescribers influencing sales of oncology products. Launching a commercial operation in preparation for a proprietary drug approval is risky, difficult and expensive. Any commercial oncology organization must be able to market to Gatekeepers, Influencers and Prescribers in the oncology market at launch. Gatekeepers include hospitals (including pharmacies and therapeutics committees), buying groups, oncology managed care organizations, specialty distributors and pharmacists. Influencers in the oncology market include Key Opinion Leader physicians, regional cancer centers (as defined by the National Cancer Institute) and the U.S. government. Prescribers include oncologists and dermatologists.
Key hurdles in establishing Commercial Operations in the oncology market include the unpredictability of timing for U.S. FDA approval and the limited time to establish market relationships post approval, competition with companies with broader oncology offerings, identifying key influencers in the local oncology market and the unpredictability of timing with U.S. FDA approval. Another hurdle is recruiting key senior business leaders since they are responsible for recruiting a successful Oncology Sales and Marketing team. For all these reasons, establishing commercial operations in the oncology market is risky and expensive.
In order to manage the risks and capture post commercial oncology economics, we have launched two oncology product lines in 2017—Multisource Oncology products and 503B Compounded Oncology Products. We support these two product lines with a sales and marketing organization to target Gatekeepers. Our National Accounts organization targets Gatekeepers and the U.S. Government for these two oncology product lines. Regional Cancer Centers are also targeted for Multisource Oncology and Compound Pharmacy products. Key Opinion Leaders are being targeted for inclusion in Phase 3 and Phase 3b clinical programs by the Medical Affairs group.
503B Compound Pharmacy Products
We directly manufacture our own products in our 503B Compound Pharmacy. We use our internal cGMP operations, and selected contract manufacturers to make both sterile to sterile products and products from sterile bulk API. We source certain of our API from our own internal supply chain to make products from sterile API bulk. We also buy API from other sources. For sterile to sterile products, we source the sterile vials and bags from national suppliers. This second oncology business further expands our offering to the U.S. oncology market.
U.S. Specialty Pharmaceuticals
Our U.S. Specialty Pharmaceuticals business sources products through licensing agreements with various partners, who we collectively refer to as our Global Partner network. The company has unique commercial expertise in multisource oncology products and has developed a number of Global Partners that develop and manufacture multisource products for the U.S. market. This Global Partner network supplies the products the company markets in the U.S. Specialty Pharmaceutical business. The company has launched a commercial oncology business in the U.S. by launching multisource oncology and therapeutically related products supplied by our Global Partner network. We anticipate structuring collaborations whereby we split the profits with the Global Partners and market the products to Gatekeepers and Influencers in the U.S. oncology market. This is helping the company prepare to launch proprietary oncology products into the U.S. market.