Enterprise Europe Network

Japanese start-up looking for partners for their naturally-derived anti-fungal drug for foot disease.

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Partner keyword: 
Pharmaceutical Products / Drugs
Biology / Biotechnology
Pharmaceuticals/fine chemicals
Manufacture of pharmaceutical preparations
Other human health activities


A Japanese start-up venture company has developed a naturally-derived anti-fungal drug compound aimed at curing the “nail athlete’s foot disease” that is twice as efficient as actual drugs. With the compound having cleared pre-clinical tests confirming the therapeutic effects, the company is now looking for financial support from EU partners for the clinical stage of the research and development process. A licensing agreement is also possible in addition to the financial one.



The company based in Okinawa, the most southern part of Japan, is developing a naturally-derived anti-fungal drug compound with a very unique chemical structure. The company reports that the structure is brand new and is actually filing 3 patents in Japan as well as international application in the EU with the European Patent Convention, United States, Canada, China and South Korea.

The compound was isolated from fermentation products of a new species of Streptomyces that were collected in soil of Japanese South-West Islands also nicknamed as “last frontier”.

This compound is developed for trichophytosis unguium, the so called “nail athlete’s foot disease” caused by fungal infections.
The company has been performing pre-clinical studies where both acute toxicity and efficacy tests were cleared confirming therefore the compound therapeutic effects that are at least twice more efficient than the drugs actually on the market.

The company is now going to execute chronic toxicity test under GLP (Good Laboratory Practice) management followed by clinical study.

For further phase of research and development the company is looking for a partner who would provide financial support and/or who would license their compound.

In case of a licensing agreement, the company will be supporting the EU partner until completion of technical transfer of the compound. During that stage, the partner will also be able to receive advice from researches of this new drug, who are taking advantage of the Japanese company’s special technology for sample screenings.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
Developed to cure the “nail athlete’s foot disease”, the company anti-fungal drug compound has a brand new chemical structure which is derived from natural sources present in South-East Islands of Japan. From their preliminary experiments, the results shows that the developed drug compound works more effectively to onychomycosis as high as about 2 times or more compared to similar common advanced anti-fungal drugs in trichophytosis unguium model by use of keratin and/or crab shell.

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Prototype available for demonstration

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
The potential EU partner is a pharmaceutical company able to perform clinical test to get regulatory approval by adopting the anti-fungal drug components under a licensing agreement. Financial support from the partner is also expected in terms of research and development aiming at the commercialization of the compound. Contacts with a venture capital company who invests and mediates collaboration with pharmaceutical companies can also be considered.

Type and size

Cooperation task: 
SME 11-50,SME <10,251-500,SME 51-250,>500


Dissemination sector group : 
Dissemination preferred : 
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, United Kingdom