We believe the value creation potential is higher for biopharmaceutical companies who can commercialize their own proprietary products. In 2016, we launched a commercial platform in the U.S. to begin building out our commercialization infrastructure in advance of our launch of proprietary products. As part of our capital efficient strategy, our commercial team markets and sells in-licensed and 503B pharmaceutical products which are therapeutically related to our proprietary portfolio, to help cover the cost and expense of the infrastructure investment. We believe commercialization risks can be offset by establishing oncology manufacturing operations, commercial operations, and deep relationships with Key Opinion Leaders before proprietary oncology product launch.
Our Commercial Operations
Any commercial oncology organization must be able to market to Gatekeepers, Influencers and Prescribers in the oncology market at launch, especially in the U.S. oncology market. However, establishing Commercial Operations in the oncology market is often risky and expensive.
To manage the risks and maximize post-commercialization economics, we launched two commercial product lines in 2017— multisource specialty pharma products and 503B compounded products. Our sales and marketing organization targets Gatekeepers (including GPO’s and the U.S. Government) and Prescribers (regional cancer centers and hospitals) for these product lines, and our medical affairs team targets Influencers such as Key Opinion Leaders for our phase 3 programs. We believe that these essential relationships and inroads will be valuable toward the successful commercial launch of our proprietary products.
Athenex Pharmaceutical Division (APD)
Our U.S. specialty pharmaceuticals business sources products through licensing agreements with various partners, who we refer to as our Global Partner Network. APD has unique commercial expertise in multisource oncology and therapeutically related products and has developed a number of Global Partners that develop and manufacture multisource products for the U.S. market. In our collaborations we split the profits with the Global Partners and market the products to Gatekeepers and Influencers in the U.S. oncology market. This has helped us prepare to launch our proprietary oncology products into the U.S. market.
Athenex Pharma Solutions (APS)
We manufacture our own products in our 503B Compound Pharmacy business. In our cGMP manufacturing facility, we make both sterile to sterile products and products from sterile bulk API. We source certain of the API for our sterile bulk API products from our own internal supply chain. This second commercial oncology business further expands our offerings to the U.S. oncology market.
In 2019, we established a new brand, Athenex Oncology, which will lead the launch and commercialization of our proprietary products. Athenex Oncology was established to provide accessible information and multiple resources to oncology customers, including healthcare professionals, patients and caregivers, who we believe will greatly benefit from Athenex’s pipeline of innovative oncology products.