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Pfizer sponsors Science Museum exhibition "Superbugs: The Fight for Our Lives"
This sponsored exhibition explores the growing threat of antibiotic resistance – a global challenge, which matters to us all.
Antibiotics have revolutionised how we treat infectious disease,1 but over time bacteria develop resistance to antibiotics and this process has been accelerated by the overuse of antibiotics for minor infections coupled with a slowdown in the development of new antibiotics.
Without action, important operations and common illnesses could become life-threatening;4 it is estimated that 10 million deaths per year could be attributed to antimicrobial resistance at current rate increases.5
As a father, I can say it is simply terrifying that my children and grandchildren may face a world where antibiotic medicines do not work as effectively as they do today.
- Erik Nordkamp, Managing Director, Pfizer UK
In February 2017 the World Health Organization published its first ever list of antibiotic-resistant "priority pathogens" which urgently need new antibiotics and critical to this are multi-drug resistant Gram negative pathogens.8
WHO priority pathogens list for R&D of new antibiotics
Priority 1: CRITICAL
- Acinetobacter baumannii, carbapenem-resistant
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa, carbapenem-resistant
- Enterobacteriaceae, carbapenem-resistant, ESBL-producing
Priority 2: HIGH
- Enterococcus faecium, vancomycin-resistant
- Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-resistant, vancomycin-intermediate and resistant
- Helicobacter pylori, clarithromycin-resistant
- Campylobacter spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant
- Salmonellae, fluoroquinolone-resistant
- Neisseria gonorrhoeae, cephalosporin-resistant, fluoroquinolone-resistant
Priority 3: MEDIUM
- Streptococcus pneumoniae, penicillin-non-susceptible
- Haemophilus influenza, ampicillin-resistant
- Shigella spp., fluoroquinolone-resistant
"Superbugs: the Fight for our Lives"
To help raise the public’s awareness of this complex issue, Pfizer has jointly sponsored a new exhibition at the Science Museum, called "Superbugs: The Fight for Our Lives".
The exhibition highlights the role that we all have to play in this fight – from pharmaceutical companies to governments, healthcare professionals, and the public.
Visitors will get to see real bacteria up close, including nine of the “priority pathogens” that the World Health Organisation classifies as a significant threat to human health.
They can also learn more about the people on the front line in the fight against antibiotic-resistant pathogens, from a patient who has contacted an infection resistant to antibiotics to healthcare professionals preventing infections, and a designer’s solution to stop bacteria spreading.
Pfizer’s work in infectious diseases
Since Pfizer successfully mass-produced penicillin (in the UK) during the 1950s,6 we have been actively engaged in the research and development of innovative medicines, and the development of policies and educational programmes to address the ever-evolving challenges in infectious diseases.7
Dr. Diane Ashiru-Oredope. (2015). Antibiotic Resistance: why the fuss and what simple actions can everyone take? Available at: https://longitudeprize.org/blog-post/antibiotic-resistance-why-fuss-and-what-simple-actions-can-everyone-take [Last accessed November 2017]
Public Health England. Health matters: antimicrobial resistance. Published 10 December 2015. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/health-matters-antimicrobial-resistance/health-matters-antimicrobial-resistance [Last accessed November 2017]
World Health Organisation – Health Topics – Antimicrobial Resistance. Available at: http://www.who.int/topics/antimicrobial_resistance/en/ [Last accessed November 2017]
World Health Organisation, Antimicrobial resistance Fact sheet - Updated October 2017. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs194/en/ [Last accessed November 2017]
The Review on Antimicrobial Resistance. Tackling Drug-Resistant Infections Globally: Final Report and Recommendations. Chaired by Jim O’Neill. May 2016. Available at: https://amr-review.org/sites/default/files/160525_Final%20paper_with%20cover.pdf
Pfizer. Our history. https://www.pfizer.co.uk/our-history [Last accessed November 2017]
Pfizer 2016 Annual Review. Available at: https://www.pfizer.com/files/investors/financial_reports/annual_reports/2016/our-business/global-businesses/pfizer-essential-health/index.html [Last accessed November 2017]
WHO Priority Pathogens list of bacteria for which new antibiotics are urgently needed, accessed from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2017/bacteria-antibiotics-needed/en/ on 28/02/18