ST. DAVIDS, Pa.--(HealthWire)--Oct. 12, 1995--Wyeth-Ayerst Laboratories, a leader in the development of anti-infective antibiotics, has undertaken a number of activities to combat this growing national health problem cited in The New York Times article on Sept. 12, 1995.
According to the article, "Nearly 8 percent of all enterococci isolated in hospitals nationwide were resistant to vancomycin in 1993, more than 20 times the rate detected four years earlier." It goes on to say, "Many of the estimated 19,000 patients attacked by the bacteria each year have infections that are virtually untreatable."
Wyeth-Ayerst initiatives to respond to this problem include:
o SCOPE (The Surveillance and Control of Pathogens of Epidemiologic Importance): The largest nongovernmental surveillance program and the first industry/university/health institution partnership designed to track and control microbial resistance. The network includes 48 sentinel hospitals strategically located throughout the country. SCOPE data will help hospitals implement effective infection control measures, and help doctors develop strategies for antibiotic usage that should weaken the natural selection for resistance. The program was launched by Wyeth-Ayerst in 1994.
o Ongoing research to develop anti-infective antibiotics, particularly agents active against methicillin-resistant staphylococci, vancomycin-resistant enterococci and penicillin-resistant streptococci -- three drug-resistant pathogens of great concern to hospitals.
o Important anti-infective antibiotics. The acquisition of Lederle Labs in 1994 brought antibiotics including ZOSYN(TM) (piperacillin sodium/tazobactam sodium), a powerful antimicrobial, the first intravenous antibiotic to contain tazobactam; AUREOMYCIN(R) (chlortetracycline), the world's first broad spectrum antibiotic; MINOCIN(R) (minocycline), a semisynthetic tetracycline derivative; SUPRAX(R) (cefixime), the first oral once-a-day cephalosporin; and PIPRACIL(R) (piperacillin sodium), a semisynthetic broad spectrum penicillin.
In addition, Wyeth-Ayerst provides support in grants and scholarships to health professionals engaged in education and research in antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
CONTACT: For information on SCOPE:
Medical College of Virginia
Richard Wenzel, MD, M.Fc., professor and chair,
internal medicine, 804/828-3389
Michael Edmond, MD, assistant professor, internal
For information on Wyeth-Ayerst anti-infective research:
Marc Deitch, MD, vice president, medical affairs and
medical director, 610/971-5500
Barbara Zajac, MD, Ph.D., senior director, clinical
research and development, 610/341-2340
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