I am pleased to express my heartfelt gratitude to shareholders and investors for their generous support. This support is critical as we address a variety of challenges in accomplishing our long-term strategic vision to develop Santen into a specialized pharmaceutical company with a global presence by 2020. Achieving this vision, however, requires not only increasing sales, but also supplying innovative products and services based on a detailed understanding of the global market.
Today, it is ever more vital that we precisely identify unmet medical needs and supply products and services in a timely manner and reflecting the latest clinical evaluations from around the world. With this in mind, we are currently committed to developing our business toward the realization of our long-term strategic vision.
In R&D, we are promoting a globally oriented approach through a variety of initiatives, including the reinforcement of our clinical development system in the United States, and the acquisition of Santen S.A.S. (formerly known as Novagali Pharma S.A.S., a French pharmaceutical company). We expect these measures will enhance the speed of our drug development.
For our domestic business, we believe it vital to build a portfolio of highly competitive products that treat conditions where there are few options. As part of such efforts, in November 2012 we launched the intravitreal VEGF inhibitor EYLEA (aflibercept) solution for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. In addition to enriching our product portfolio, we believe that the new product will help continue our strong presence in ophthalmology and establish our position as a leader in the treatment of diseases of the posterior segment of the eye.
Our priority in overseas business development is to strengthen our existing operations in Asia and Europe. In those markets, which we believe have growth potential, we are actively developing our business platform by using the expertise Santen has developed in Japan as a specialty company. In China, a market which is a growth driver for Santen, we are reinforcing our business platform based on in-house production and direct marketing systems. Specifically, we commenced integrated in-house production, including container casting, filling and sealing. In Europe, we are steadily expanding our operating bases both in developed markets such as Germany, and emerging markets across Russia and Eastern Europe.
Finally, Santen will continue to combine our strengths to implement the Medium-Term Management Plan in order to realize our long-term strategic vision.
In these endeavors, we would like to ask for your continued support.