Origin of the Name

Koinobori, carp-shaped wind socks that flap majestically in the blue skies over Japan during May, are symbols of the healthy growth of children and the happiness of families. Our organization, KOINOBORI, was named after these carp-shaped wind socks, as they reminded us of the patients and families who are fighting against rare and neglected difficult diseases.

Objectives and Background of Establishment

The demographic distribution of patients with rare and neglected diseases is not well known, and the mechanisms of such maladies are not well understood. Therefore, constant drug development for rare diseases is difficult, and establishment of effective treatments for such illnesses has still not been satisfactory.

KOINOBORI is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing together accumulated knowledge and expertise for the development of new, concrete therapies that arrest disease progression and promote functional recovery in patients with mitochondrial diseases. Our team members include medical doctors, venture capitalists, academic researchers, patients' families, and scientists. KOINOBORI focuses on mitochondrial diseases, because a member’s relative developed the rare mitochondrial disease mitochondrial encephalomyopathy (MELAS) during the process of the organization’s establishment.


In the treatment of mitochondrial diseases, promising new drugs and therapies are required for medical care, but steady improvements and lifestyle habits (diet, mental and physical activities, supplements, etc.) are also important. KOINOBORI aims to develop therapeutic drugs and form patient networks as its two main projects, and is working toward establishment of truly effective therapy for patients and their families, who want to cure mitochondrial diseases.

Drug Research and Development Support Program
1. Exploration of promising developmental compounds and therapy
2. Support for clinical developmental work
Research Ethics Committee


2009 KOINOBORI started its activities. As a nonprofit, we began to examine ways to provide support for drug discovery for rare and neglected diseases. Because a family member of one of our members developed a mitochondrial disease, we began focusing on mitochondrial diseases, among other rare and neglected diseases, and started exploring candidate compounds to support drug development.
2010 We began regular activities as the KOINOBORI project within PRIP TOKYO, a non-profit organization for the Promotion of Research on Intellectual Property, in April.
As a drug research and development project , KOINOBORI selected its first candidate compound to support in December.
2011 KOINOBORI began tangible support for clinical studies in Japan.
2013 We established KOINOBORI Associate Inc. in January.
KOINOBORI initiated the clinical study of the supported compound in Japan in May.
KOINOBORI became affiliated with the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF) as a part of the Patient Network-Forming Program (June).



  • President : Masashi SUGANUMA (President, Suganuma Medical Clinic)
  • Director : Taro INABA (Managing Partner, Remiges Biopharma Fund GP, Inc.)
  • Director : Kinji FUCHIKAMI (Venture partner, Mitsui & Co. Global Investment, Inc.)
  • Auditor : Eisaku NAKAMURA (Director, Kubota Pharmaceutical Holdings Co., Ltd. / Director, D. Western Therapeutics Institute, Inc.)

Basic Information

Name KOINOBORI Associate Inc.
Representative Masashi Suganuma
Location 1-1-16, Shibuya-cho, Toyota-shi, Aichi-ken 471-0808 Japan
Contact info atmark kokinobori-mito.jp
Date of Establishment January 17, 2013

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