Our partnership strategy has allowed us to build a development pipeline of 31 drugs, to create a broad base of potential license fees, milestone payments, royalties, profit sharing and earn out payments and to control our drug development expenses. In this way, we remain a focused and efficient research and development organization that can continue to discover new drugs and expand our and our partners’ pipelines.
Through the efficiency of our drug discovery platform we can develop drugs to almost any gene target. We concentrate on developing antisense drugs in our core therapeutic areas with an emphasis on cardiovascular, metabolic, severe and rare diseases, including neurological disorders, and cancer. We believe our partnering strategy provides us the flexibility to maximize the near- and long-term value of our drugs by licensing each of our drugs at the right time with the right partner. Using this strategy, we can expand our and our partners’ pipelines with antisense drugs that we design to address significant medical needs while remaining small and focused. Just as we have advanced and matured our technology and pipeline, we have evolved our partnering strategy in order to maximize the value of each of our assets. We form traditional partnering alliances that enable us to discover and conduct early development of new drugs, outlicense our drugs to partners, such as Genzyme, and build a broad base of license fees, milestone payments, profit share and royalty income.
We also form preferred partner transactions that provide us with a vested partner, such as AstraZeneca, Biogen Idec, GSK and Roche, early in the development of a drug. Typically, the drugs we partner early in development are in therapeutic areas of high risk, like severe neurological diseases, or in areas where Phase 2 results would likely not provide a significant increase in value, like cancer. These preferred partner transactions allow us to develop select drugs that could have significant commercial potential with a knowledgeable and committed partner with the financial resources to fund later-stage clinical studies and expertise to complement our own development efforts. As in our other partnerships, we benefit financially from upfront payments, milestone payments, licensing fees and royalties.
And finally, we plan to keep some drugs longer so we can conduct Phase 3 development on our own without a partner. By doing so, we believe we can maximize the value of these drugs by licensing them much later in development and potentially maintaining a larger portion of the commercial revenue.
We also work with a consortium of smaller companies that can exploit our drugs and technologies outside our primary areas of focus. We call these smaller companies our satellite companies. We benefit from the disease-specific expertise of our satellite company drug development partners, who are advancing drugs in our pipeline in areas that are outside of our core focus. Through this strategy we can expand the therapeutic range of antisense drugs into diseases that need new and innovative treatment options.
In addition, we form partnerships focused on developing and advancing certain RNA-targeting therapeutic technologies. These partnerships take advantage of our dominant RNA-targeting intellectual property estate, and leverage our investments in our core technologies. These collaborations typically involve a cross-license between us and our partner and allow us to participate in newly emerging approaches to RNA-targeting therapeutics and augment our active programs in these areas.
Our partnerships fall into several categories, including pharmaceutical alliances and licenses, satellite company collaborators, external project funding alliances, and technology and intellectual property sales and licensing.
Since 2007, our partnerships have generated an aggregate of more than $1.1 billion in payments from upfront and licensing fees, equity purchase payments, milestone payments and research and development funding. In addition, for our current partnered programs we have the potential to earn nearly $9 billion in future milestone payments and licensing fees. We also have the potential to share in the future commercial success of our inventions and drugs resulting from these partnerships through earn out, profit sharing, or royalty arrangements.