We are a leading biotechnology company in China. According to Frost and Sullivan, we ranked first among PRC companies in terms of sales from mammalian cell-based biopharmaceuticals and ranked second among PRC companies in terms of sales from all biopharmaceuticals in 2013. As a pioneer in the PRC biotechnology industry, we have extensive expertise in developing, manufacturing and marketing biopharmaceuticals. Our two core products, TPIAO and EPIAO, are market leaders in China. TPIAO, our proprietary product, is the only commercialized rhTPO product in the world. EPIAO leads the PRC rhEPO market with a market share of 43.6% by sales in 2013, more than the combined market shares of the next six largest competitors. In addition, we have nine other products in nephrology, oncology and other therapeutic areas.
We have a robust pipeline of 20 product candidates, 14 of which are being developed as National Class I New Drugs (國家一類新藥) in China. We have eight product candidates in nephrology, including three next-generation erythropoiesis-stimulating agents ("ESAs"). We have six product candidates in oncology, including three mAb therapeutics. We also have several product candidates that target auto-immune diseases with unmet treatment needs such as rheumatoid arthritis and refractory gout.
We operate in a highly attractive industry. Biotechnology has revolutionized the pharmaceutical industry by addressing unmet medical needs and offering innovative treatments for a wide array of human diseases. The biotechnology industry requires interdisciplinary research and development expertise, entails complex manufacturing processes and faces stringent government regulation. As a pioneer in the PRC biopharmaceutical industry, we are one of the few established players that can benefit from the attractive opportunities in the fast-growing PRC biotechnology industry.
We are well positioned to expand our global presence. We expect to start Phase I clinical trials in the United States for TPIAO in the near future. In 2014, we started multi-center biosimilar clinical trials for EPIAO in Russia and Thailand. In the long term, we aim to market our rhEPO products in developed countries by development and registration through biosimilar pathways. Furthermore, we are collaborating with international partners to develop and market our product candidates, such as pegsiticase and mAb therapeutics.
Our core products are market leaders in China and have significant growth potential:
• TPIAO is our proprietary product and a National Class I New Drug in China, and has been the only commercialized rhTPO product in the world since its launch in 2006. TPIAO has been approved by the CFDA for two indications: the treatment of chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia (“CIT”) and the treatment of immune thrombocytopenia (“ITP”). It has experienced significant sales growth due to increasing patient demand and physician acceptance. We believe TPIAO sales will continue to grow significantly as we further increase hospital penetration, enhance physician awareness and pursue additional therapeutic indications while the PRC government further improves insurance coverage.
• EPIAO is the only rhEPO product approved by the CFDA for three indications: the treatment of anemia associated with chronic kidney disease (“CKD”), the treatment of chemotherapy-induced anemia (“CIA”) and the reduction of allogeneic blood transfusion in surgery patients. EPIAO has consistently been the market leader in the PRC rhEPO market since 2002. We recently acquired another rhEPO product, SEPO, which will help us broaden our market coverage, especially in lower-tier hospitals, where rhEPO has been experiencing significant growth. We believe that, with EPIAO and SEPO, we will strengthen our leadership in the growing rhEPO market in China.
We have integrated research and development capabilities with a proven track record of success. Our integrated research and development expertise spans the areas of discovery and development of biopharmaceuticals including molecular cloning, gene expression, cell line construction and process development, as well as design and management of pre-clinical and clinical trials, manufacturing process development and analytic process development for quality control and assurance. We developed TPIAO, the only commercialized rhTPO product in the world. In addition, we collaborate with leading companies and research institutions to develop innovative pharmaceuticals. We have entered into a strategic cooperation with CP Guojian, an industry leader in the PRC mAb sector, for the research and development, registration, manufacturing and marketing of mAb therapeutics. We are developing eight product candidates in collaboration with global partners. Our research and development capabilities have also enabled us to become one of the few PRC companies with both out-licensing and in-licensing agreements with international partners.
We mainly promote and sell biopharmaceuticals with a dedicated in-house sales team and an academic marketing approach. Our in-house sales team of over 600 sales professionals has an average of more than eight years of experience in marketing pharmaceuticals. After many years of extensive academic marketing, we have raised product awareness and established strong reputation among leading hospitals and medical professionals. In 2014, our products reached over 60% of all Grade III hospitals in China. Our strong relationships with hospitals and medical professionals throughout China help us effectively promote complementary products and quickly launch new products.
We have accumulated extensive expertise and know-how in manufacturing biopharmaceuticals. We are able to efficiently mass produce biopharmaceuticals while consistently ensuring high quality. In September 2011, the CFDA approved our voluntary upgrade of manufacturing specifications to fully align the product quality of EPIAO with European Pharmacopoeia standards.