Keeping Track of Antibiotic Resistance Just Got Easier

Pfizer has launched an improved version of its ATLAS database with a new website and mobile app.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), antibiotic resistance is “one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development” today. While antibiotic resistance occurs naturally, misuse of antibiotics in both humans and animals has accelerated the process. Antibiotic resistance not only leads to longer hospital stays and higher medical costs, it has made it harder to treat infectious diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and gonorrhea.

As a manufacturer of antibiotics, Pfizer believes that it must continually affirm that its products are effective, according to Jill Inverso, Pfizer’s VP of Global Medical Affairs in Critical Care Medicines. “As you know, bacteria develop resistance—they all do to every drug we expose them to over time—and it’s important to stay abreast of that and understand what those trends are,” she said.

Pfizer has in fact been expanding its antibiotics portfolio. In 2016, the company acquired AstraZeneca's antibiotics portfolio for $1.5 billion and subsequently launched (in markets outside of the U.S.) Zavicefta, for the treatment of infections caused by multi-drug resistant bacteria.

Pfizer developed the Antimicrobial Testing Leadership and Surveillance (ATLAS) database 13 years ago at the request of regulators in the U.S. and Europe. It tracks both pathogens and the use of antibiotic products around the world. Not only doctors but also patients and researchers, can search the database to find out what is happening in their local areas. Doctors can use the database to find out about local resistance rates and trends for specific infections and drugs.

Pfizer recently improved the system, launching a new version of ATLAS that includes a user-friendly website and mobile app. In addition, the new version includes a map that provides resistance-rate percentages for specified pathogens and antibiotic treatments, accessed by hovering the computer mouse over a country. The company updates the database every six months.


Guy Tiene

Guy supports the success of life science organizations by identifying synergies across research, content, marketing and communications resources to drive value for clients. With over 30 years of education and marketing experience and 18 years in the life sciences alone, Guy leads our editorial standards for client content, Pharma’s Almanac and Nice Insight research-based industry content as well as external communications for clients. Having served as head of global marketing and communications for a CMO, he also brings critical insight and guidance to all communications. Guy holds a Masters degree from Columbia University.