What is Onychomycosis?

Onychomycosis is a common infectious disease caused by invasion of the nail bed by fungal pathogens.

A common infectious disease with a significant healthcare burden

Onychomycosis is a common fungal infection of the nail plate and nail bed. Onychomycosis is a chronic, progressive infection which is difficult to treat. It has a significant healthcare burden, causing pain in approximately 50% of patients and, in the US, resulting in close to four doctor visits annually for treatment.

It is important to treat onychomycosis to prevent progression of the infection and permanent damage to the nail bed. As an infectious disease, the fungi in the nail can also be a source of secondary infection in other areas of the body, or spread to the environment and infect family members.


Onychomycosis at a glance

Onychomycosis affects 14% of the US population and is the most common nail disorder.¹

The global market for treatments for onychomycosis was US$3.7 billion in 2018.²

~70% of onychomycosis scripts in the US are for topical products.²

Number of patients treated annually in the US.³

Onychomycosis is responsible for an average of 3.8 doctor visits per patient per year and greater than 11 million visits annually. ⁴ ⁵ 

Onychomycosis has a substantial healthcare burden. ⁴ ⁵ 

Understanding onychomycosis

Dermatophytes (fungi that cause ​skin disease) typically enter through ​the distal groove at the end of the nail ​and proliferate in the nail bed.

Left untreated, the nail becomes thick and brittle and easily separates from the nail bed, causing pain. The infected nail also serves as a reservoir for further infections.

Risk factors include increasing age, athlete’s foot, diabetes, and immunodeficiency.

Patients experience pain, discomfort, and difficulty wearing shoes. Quality of life is affected by nail dystrophy and unacceptable cosmetic appearance.

Existing therapies do not meet customer needs

There is a clear need for a safe, convenient and more effective topical product.

Patients with onychomycosis are reluctant to use oral drugs because of associated side effects. Topical treatments are usually preferred.


Existing topical treatments suffer from low efficacy rates and long courses of therapy. Patients often stop treatment because the appearance of the nail does not improve for many months.

Pezadeftide has the potential to address the shortcomings of current treatments

Pezadeftide is a potent broad-spectrum antifungal peptide that has evolved in nature to kill fungal pathogens. It penetrates the nail faster and more completely than other topical products.
Learn more about pezadeftide

Hear more about onychomycosis from Hexima’s Key Opinion Leaders

Hexima recently took the opportunity to speak with certain of its Scientific Advisory Board members about onychomycosis. We captured these interactions, which are available for viewing.


1.Tatchibana et al., Journal of Fungi, 2017; 2.Persistence Market Research 2018; 3.ClearView Healthcare Partners proprietary market research, 2019; 4.Joseph et al, Supplement to Podiatry Today, 2013; 5. Milobratovic et al., Mycoses, 2013;