Partnership to Manufacture Antibiotic to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance

by Sinead Huang
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The Global Antibiotic Research & Development Partnership (GARDP) has joined forces with India-based Orchid Pharma Ltd to hasten antibiotic access for thousands of patients residing in regions grappling with the alarming rise of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This partnership marks a pivotal step in a collaborative project initiated by Shionogi, GARDP, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), aimed at providing access to cefiderocol, a crucial antibiotic designed to combat specific Gram-negative infections. The endeavor targets predominantly low- and middle-income countries, contingent upon local authorization or national regulatory approval.

Related article: World Premiere of Documentary on the Battle Against Antibiotic Resistance

Bridging the Antibiotic Access Gap

Launched in June 2022, this project introduces a novel model to bridge the global gap in equitable access to essential antibiotics. Despite the high mortality rates attributed to drug-resistant bacterial infections in low- and middle-income countries, their access to antibiotics effective against resistant bacteria is often delayed by more than a decade. 

The situation may worsen further as serious and potentially life-threatening infections caused by carbapenem-resistant bacteria continue to surge in various regions, including South Asia and Latin America. By addressing long standing barriers that hinder the availability of crucial antibiotics in these regions, this innovative project seeks to expedite access to affordable, quality-assured antibiotics for the treatment of drug-resistant Gram-negative infections.

A Global Endeavor with Local Impact

Manica Balasegaram, Executive Director of GARDP, emphasized the significance of addressing antibiotic access, stating, “Access is one of the least talked about issues in the global AMR crisis. This is not just a global market failure but also a public health failure. We can effectively offset the burden of antibiotic resistance by reducing the access gap between high- and lower-income countries so that the right antibiotics are affordable and available for appropriate use. We are proud to work with Orchid to help make this a reality for cefiderocol, and we hope that this project can help pave the way for access to additional antibiotics in the future.”

Commitment to Quality and Affordability

Manish Dhanuka, Managing Director of Orchid Pharma, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of cephalosporin antibiotics, expressed his commitment to this global initiative, stating, “We are proud to work with Shionogi, GARDP, and CHAI to provide a global solution to access an important antibiotic for areas of need. Our decades-long expertise in cephalosporins will be advantageous in manufacturing affordable and quality-assured cefiderocol. This will address the unmet needs of patients across low- and middle-income countries where antimicrobial resistance is spreading.”

A Shared Vision for Global Health

Takuko Sawada, Director and Vice Chairperson of the Board at Shionogi & Co. Ltd, highlighted the comprehensive approach undertaken by the partners, stating, “Our work goes beyond researching and developing innovative new medicines to address significant unmet medical needs. We are also focused on developing sustainable programs, including the critically important agreements with GARDP and CHAI, that focus on significant public health priorities, including access to and appropriate use of antibiotics. We welcome Orchid to this program and are confident that together we will continue to make strides toward increasing access to medications for people living in low and middle-income countries.”

This collaborative effort stands as a beacon of hope in the global battle against antimicrobial resistance, striving to ensure that vital antibiotics reach those in need, regardless of their socioeconomic status, ultimately safeguarding the health of countless individuals.

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