We are focused on moving projects as quickly as possible from proof of concept where we have made an initial understanding of the mechanism of action until commercialization. Our understanding of the mechanism then translates itself into a development strategy that takes into consideration, not only the patient voices, but also the market needs. The market needs can be the regulatory environment or the commercial environment, but we believe that all that combined will actually solidify the development strategy. We are also focused on continuing to improve our capabilities with regards to how to maximize the life cycle management of our products. And now, we are looking to further differentiate ourselves. Moving away from just trying to improve the bottle, we also start looking into other disease areas that we have not looked into before. We try to bring out here the maximum for the sake of our patients.
Developing new pharmaceuticals entails a long period of over 10 years, as well as a diverse process ranging from basic research to marketing. To free patients from concerns over their illness as soon as possible and deliver happiness through the best vision experience, we must improve the efficiency of our R&D process. To this end, Santen conducts drug discovery and clinical development on a global basis, utilizing facilities of the Santen Group and related organizations worldwide. In this way, we are reinforcing our system to create new products that meet global medical needs in a timely manner.
In terms of research activities, within Santen we have concentrated our basic research, non-clinical studies, and drug formulation research at Nara Research and Development Center, so as to integrate the knowledge of our various sections and create better products. With external organizations, we have built a system to facilitate information exchange and collaborations through our own networks including Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI). In 2018 Santen acquired InnFocus that develops medical devices for the treatment of glaucoma. This acquisition has reinforced Santen's development pipelines, enhancing its global competitiveness in the ophthalmic field.
We are accelerating the movement toward higher quality and efficiency of clinical development in Japan, the United States, Europe, China and other Asian countries, as well as in other emerging countries, based on their market needs and regulations.
What we have been good at is taking formulations and moving them from their original state to a more optimal, logical, improved ophthalmic drugs. There are several steps that you can go through in trying to improve products when you are trying to get them to the patients. It is often believed that benzalkonium chloride (BAK), used as a preservative, actually adds to the efficacy. On the other hand, it is considered not to be optimal because it is associated with unexpected responses, allergy and hyperemia. One of the things that we then did, was to reduce the BAK concentration. Now patients and physicians prefer BAK-free ophthalmic solutions.
This is one of the capabilities we have. The last step is to give patients a preservative-free ophthalmic solution, which further enhances the safety.
As another example for our capabilities on this is shown in below figure, we can see the improved formulation which are highly convenient for the patients. We understood that patients actually might consider dosing 4 or 6 times a day to be burdensome, at least for some patients. Therefore, what we really wanted to achieve was reducing the frequency per day of the instillation.