Research and Development at TianJiang Pharmaceutical
and leads the industry in scientific research and production. Since our establishment, we have worked with research institutes such as the China Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and China Pharmaceutical University to improve traditional herbalism through scientific research and technological innovation. To accomplish this, we employ renowned experts to lead our research and development programs, which include: a national postdoctoral research program, a state-level research center to improve granule herb engineering technology, and a national government-approved lab for granule herb testing. In addition, TianJiang Pharmaceutical has established the Technology Research Institute of Chinese Granule Herbs in conjunction with Nanjing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Throughout our work we provide our staff with the technological skills and training needed to lead the industry in research and development.
As a global leader in the field since inventing Chinese granule herbs over 20 years ago, TianJiang Pharmaceutical has worked with more than 70% of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) national and state-level hospitals, completed 101 research projects at the national and state level, independently written and published 155 clinical application papers and 47 research papers, and contributed to over 1,000 jointly-published papers. These achievements and innovations have helped to shape the Chinese granule herb industry, and will continue to contribute to this ever-evolving field.
For a more detailed description of our areas of research and development please see below:
1. Study of Raw Materials
The goal of our raw materials research is to guarantee that only high quality, efficacious, safe, and consistent raw herbs are selected for the next step of production. TianJiang’s quality standards are determined by conducting extensive studies which compare each herb’s properties, growing conditions, and farming practices among a variety of regions. Data from these studies are then analyzed to inform the ideal growing practices and regions for each herb. For example, after the chemical compositions of over 150 herbal products were statistically analyzed, it was found that more than 80 decoctions and products were most effective when prepared using fresh (rather than dry) herbs. Results from these analyses—which include heavy metal and pesticide residue testing to ensure safety—along with the regulations set by Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), are integrated to form TianJiang Pharmaceutical’s standard operating procedures for herbal farming.
Due to variances in growing regions and methods of cultivation, the effective components of some herbs can vary considerably. The concentration measurements of these components help to determine which regions will be the cultivation bases for each species, thus ensuring the high quality of raw materials used. For example, Shandong Pingyi was selected as the ideal region to cultivate Huang Qin because our research revealed that Huang Qin grown in Shandong Pingyi had the highest concentration of baicalin of any region studied. By determining the ideal region to grow each herb, we are able to provide a stable source of high quality raw herbs to our consumers. Since 1994, we have established over 20 cultivation bases across 10 provinces for 320 herb species.
2. Study of Production Process
TianJiang’s concentrated granule herb manufacturing procedures include: extraction, separation, drying, preparation, and granulation. Throughout these procedures, we employ advanced production technology and specialized techniques including: supercritical fluid extraction, super fine crushing, spray freeze drying, and a unique granulation process. The company owns 20 patents for invention, 1 application model patent, and all the independent intellectual property rights of the key technologies used in concentrated granular herb production.
3. Study of Quality Standardization
To ensure a safe, consistent, and high-quality product, TianJiang Pharmaceutical has developed a number of standardization protocols that regulate the process of converting raw herbs into concentrated granule herbs. These protocols prescribe the use of specialized technology to control for each herb’s identity, origin, concentration of effective components, optimal binding material, and the proper dosage in concentrated form. To achieve this, we use chromatography, high-performance liquid chromatographs, hyphenated technology, fingerprinting, characteristic fingerprinting technology, inductive coupling plasma emission spectrographs, and gas chromatographs. To date, TianJiang has established quality standards for over 600 granule herbs. In fact, due to their rigor, our standardization protocols for concentrated granule herbs have been internationally recognized and adopted as the industry’s national standard in the People’s Republic of China.
Not only have our standardization protocols gained recognition, but we were also the first company in the industry to receive a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification from the central government of the People’s Republic of China. TianJiang’s manufacturing documentation falls into six major categories which are further divided into over 3,600 systems of record documentation. During the manufacturing process, we have also implemented a 3-step quality control safeguard with checkpoints at each step, a 5-step chemical analysis throughout the conversion from raw herbs to granules, and digital archives of collected and analyzed data for each batch of product. In addition, our buildings, personnel, and equipment all satisfy GMP standards.
4. Development of New Products
Although TianJiang Pharmaceutical is already the world’s largest manufacturer of Chinese granule herbs, we continually invest in new product development in order to meet ongoing domestic and global market demands for Chinese granule herbs.
5. Clinical Studies
As a further safety precaution, for the past 20 years TianJiang Pharmaceutical has conducted clinical studies to compare the effects of herbs that were mixed before they were processed with those that were mixed after they were processed. For these studies formulas that induce measurable physiological effects were examined to discern the differences in efficacy between the “pre-mixed” and “post-mixed” versions of these formulas. Of the 20 clinical studies conducted, none found a significant difference in efficacy between pre-mixed and post-mixed formulas. Most of these studies were sponsored by the central government of the People’s Republic of China.
Continuing to invest in research and development is an integral part of modernizing TCM, and as a leader in the industry of Chinese granule herbs, TianJiang will continue to focus its research on improving seed selection, cultivation, decoction, technology, quality standards, and clinical applications research. By pursuing the in-depth study of each herb from seed to finished product, TianJiang Pharmaceutical encourages both the potential for new enterprise and the globalization of TCM.
Research Cooperative Schools and Institute