Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and Wellcome announced Wednesday the launch of the Surveillance Partnership to Improve Data for Action on Antimicrobial Resistance (SPIDAAR), a new multi-year, public-private research collaboration with the governments of Ghana, Kenya, Malawi and Uganda to track resistance patterns and better understand the burden of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on patients living in low- and middle-income countries.
The two companies explained the SPIDAAR to be a first-of-its kind partnership with the goal to provide governments and health authorities with comprehensive data in four sub-Saharan African countries where there is a high burden of infectious diseases, insufficient data and lack of capacity to implement critically needed infection prevention and control programs.
In a press release, Pfizer indicates that as recently as 2017, nearly half (43%) of the countries on the African continent did not have available AMR data. Recent estimates project that mortality rates due to AMR in Africa could be nearly ten times that of North America and Europe by 2050 and that the economic impact could also be disproportionate, reducing gross domestic product (GDP) in low-income economies by as much as 5.6%.iv Timely data and effective surveillance are critical for identifying and tracking the emerging spread of resistant infections, building infection prevention and control programs and informing appropriate treatment to improve patient care. SPIDAAR will leverage the capabilities of Pfizer’s existing Antimicrobial Testing Leadership and Surveillance (ATLAS) platform to support implementation of the countries’ National Action Plans for AMR as specified by the World Health Organization (WHO).
“This partnership builds on Pfizer’s longstanding work in the area of antimicrobial surveillance and infectious diseases, to help create meaningful and sustainable solutions that strive to address today’s biggest health challenges and protect the world’s most vulnerable people,” said Pol Vandenbroucke, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer’s hospital business. “Expanding on Pfizer’s existing ATLAS surveillance platform, the SPIDAAR program will offer transparent and open access to critically important data in the region, which we hope will enable countries in sub-Saharan Africa to better prepare for and respond to the serious and growing public health challenge of antimicrobial resistance.”