Our Innovation Platform, known as Hutchison MediPharma, has been the main driver of creating and developing our portfolio of drug candidates since 2002.
With our core research and development philosophy as to taking a holistic approach to the treatment of cancer and immunological diseases, our team of over 420 scientists and staff has established a pipeline of eight self-discovered drug candidates in clinical trials, five of which are either in or about to start global clinical development.
As we plan to further establish and leverage this platform to produce and commercialize a stream of novel drug candidates with global potential, we have taken a chemistry-focused approach to develop highly selective small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors that are intended to have potentially global best-in-class efficacy and are deliberately engineered to improve drug exposure and reduce known class-related toxicities.
An important milestone was achieved with the commercial launch of our self-discovered fruquintinib (trading as Elunate) in China in November 2018. Fruquintinib is the first ever China-discovered and developed targeted oncology therapy to have received unconditional approval and be subsequently commercialized.
Our current drug candidates may have the potential to be either global first-in-class therapies or be sufficiently differentiated to potentially be global best-in-class, next generation therapies with a superior profile compared to existing approved drugs that act against the relevant kinase targets.
We continue to leverage this platform to produce a stream of novel drug candidates.
For more information on recent developments, please review our recent Innovation news and the 2018 Annual Report.