Kuala Lumpur, 26 August 2021 – Pfizer today officially launched Zavicefta® a novel combination antibiotic developed to treat serious Gram-negative bacterial infections requiring hospitalisation, in Malaysia. Zavicefta® is a combination of ceftazidime, a third-generation antipseudomonal cephalosporin and avibactam, a beta-lactamase inhibitor. Zavicefta® has a well-established efficacy and safety profile. In Malaysia, Zavicefta® is indicated for the treatment of adults 18 years and above with complicated intra-abdominal infection (cIAI) in combination with metronidazole, complicated urinary tract infection (cUTI) including pyelonephritis, and Hospital-Acquired Pneumonia (HAP), including Ventilator Associated Pneumonia (VAP)1 .
“The launch of Zavicefta® reaffirms Pfizer’s commitment to addressing the threat of antimicrobial resistance through antibiotics research and development of a more robust antibiotics pipeline. To help patients facing serious infectious diseases, Zavicefta® was developed to address difficult-to-treat Gram-negative bacteria, many of which have become increasingly resistant to currently available antibiotics,” said Dr Jerusha Naidoo, Country Medical Director for Malaysia at Pfizer.
“Early adequate antibiotic therapy is crucial for patients with serious Gram-negative infections, to avoid increased healthcare utilisation, cost and mortality. We hope Malaysians will be able to benefit from Zavicefta® when needed,” she added. Failure to treat early and appropriately has been associated with poor outcomes in patients with serious Gram-negative infections, although early treatment must consider patient risk factors as well as local epidemiology.
“Today, antimicrobial resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, impacting our ability to treat serious infections and provide standard medical procedures, and influencing public healthcare outcomes and costs. Antimicrobial medicines, especially antibiotics, are among the most precious medical resources the world has ever known, but more and more incidents of resistant infections are being reported, including by Gram-negative bacteria,” commented Dato' Dr Mahiran Mustafa, Consultant Infectious Disease Physician and National Head, Infectious Disease Discipline, Ministry of Health Malaysia.
She said all stakeholders will need to play their part if there is to be any significant headway in mitigating the threat of antimicrobial resistance. “Healthcare providers will need to prescribe antibiotics appropriately and adequately, while members of the public will need to use antibiotics responsibly. The efforts of the pharmaceutical industry is key and we appreciate the leading role Pfizer plays in global antimicrobial R&D and stewardship.”
Meanwhile, infectious disease physician Dr Asok Kurup shared, “For multifactorial reasons including inappropriate antibiotic use and poor infection control standards, antibiotic resistance has become a major threat in healthcare settings universally, and our region is not spared. Gram-negative bacteria in particular are becoming more resistant not only to typical antibiotics but also broad-spectrum ones like Carbapenems. Infections implicating these multidrug resistant organisms (MDRO) are associated with higher morbidity, mortality and cost compared with susceptible infections. Moreover, there is an imperative to treat these infections early to prevent adverse outcomes. Up until recently, managing these difficult to treat infections have been very challenging given inadequacies of available therapeutic agents, or toxicities.
Pfizer’s commitment to tackling antimicrobial resistance
Pfizer takes a multi-pronged approach to tackling antimicrobial resistance, developing vaccines that help prevent infections and reducing the need for antibiotics that may result in resistant strains, while also actively developing anti-infectives and working with partners to close critical prevention and treatment gaps in infectious disease around the globe. In addition, Pfizer offers one of the largest and most accessible AMR surveillance programmes in the world, called the Antimicrobial Testing Leadership and Surveillance (ATLAS) database – the only platform that provides public access to both antifungal and antibacterial resistance data through a single resource, enabling decision makers to adapt stewardship and infection control and prevention programmes. Pfizer is also one of the leading contributors to the AMR Action Fund, a collaboration among more than 20 biopharmaceutical companies that aims to bring 2-4 new antibiotics to patients by 2030 through collaboration between pharmaceutical companies, philanthropies, development banks and multilateral organisations.
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