Swedish company Moberg Pharma has signed an agreement with Taisho Pharmaceutical towards the development, registration and commercialisation of MOB-015 in Japan.

MOB-015 is a topical treatment of onychomycosis based on Moberg Pharma’s patented formulation of terbinafine.

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Under the terms of the exclusive license agreement, Moberg Pharma will receive milestones payments of up to $50m contingent on development and commercial success of MOB-015, as well as supply fees including royalties.

The company already received an initial $5m at signing.

Upon completion of MOB-015 registration, Taisho will fund and conduct the development and registration activities in Japan. The company will also market, distribute and sell MOB-015 in Japan.

Moberg Pharma CEO Anna Ljung said: “We are excited to partner with Taisho for the large and growing Japanese onychomycosis market, contributing to our vision of making MOB-015 the leading nail fungus treatment worldwide.”

As part of the agreement, Moberg Pharma supplies the product and required documentation to Taisho from its international development programme.

Moberg Pharma executive chairman Peter Wolpert said: “This is the third major agreement for MOB-015 and further validates the significant market potential for our lead asset and the focused commercialization preparations by our team.”

According to Moberg’s market intelligence, the Japanese market for branded prescription drugs for onychomycosis was valued at $290m last year, growing more than 8%.

Currently, oral terbinafine is one of the best standards for treating onychomycosis. However, it is said to be associated with safety issues, including drug interactions, as well as liver damage.

In January 2017, Moberg acquired US brand anaesthetic spray DermoPlast from Prestige Brands for $47.6m.