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New Danish alliance will combat a global health crisis

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are one of the greatest threats to our health. Twenty partners have now created a new alliance to act while there is still time. Pfizer Denmark, Pharmadanmark and the Novo Nordisk Foundation have initiated the alliance.

Imagine that a scratch on your elbow could make you seriously ill. Or that you cannot get hip replacement surgery because you risk getting an untreatable infection. Or that an effective cancer treatment is out of the question. These scenarios are already a reality for many patients worldwide, and the problem represents one of the greatest current health crises: the growing spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

Hans Jørn Kolmos, Professor of Clinical Microbiology from the Research Unit of Clinical Microbiology at the University of Southern Denmark and Department of Clinical Microbiology at Odense University Hospital, is part of the new alliance. He has been researching antimicrobial resistance for many years and has no doubts about the danger to which we are all exposed.

“Major surgery for transplanting organs and chemotherapy require having antibiotics available to prevent and treat the infections that arise from complications of these often very invasive and risky interventions. I seriously fear that we will end up not being able to treat people if we do nothing about antimicrobial resistance. So this is not a distant future we are looking at here.”

Hans Jørn Kolmos points to studies showing that, in 2050, antibiotic-resistant bacteria will kill as many people as cancer.

Collaboration between 20 partners
Pharmadanmark, the Novo Nordisk Foundation and Pfizer Denmark are initiating the new Danish AMR Alliance, which currently includes 20 partners. The goal is to bring together everyone that is affected by and can influence the problem of antimicrobial resistance around joint initiatives that supplement the initiatives already in place in Denmark.

“This is a race between bacteria and people, and right now we are losing,” says Anne Bloch Thomsen, Chief Medical Officer at Pfizer Denmark.

The good news is that there is still time to act. However, this requires that the entire world limits its use of antibiotics and develops new drugs that can combat the bacteria that become resistant to antibiotics anyway.

“The crucial factor is changing the framework conditions for research and development of new types of antibiotics so that we avoid patients risking death from trivial infections,” said Stine Hasling Mogensen, Chair of Pharmadanmark.

“The challenge of antimicrobial resistance cannot be solved by one country alone and requires a global effort. Denmark can play an important role in this by establishing significant initiatives that can inspire other countries to follow,” says Steffen Pierini Lüders, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Novo Nordisk Foundation.

Facts: Here are the members of the new Alliance

  • Pfizer Danmark
  • Novo Nordisk Fonden
  • Pharmadanmark
  • Lægemiddelindustriforeningen (Lif)
  • Dansk Industri
  • Dansk Erhverv – Sundhed og Life Science
  • Forskningsenheden for Klinisk Mikrobiologi ved SDU og Klinisk Mikrobiologisk Afdeling ved OUH
  • Snipr Biome
  • Rådet For Bedre Hygiejne
  • Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, Det Sundhedsvidenskabelige Fakultet, Københavns Universitet
  • CPH Bio
  • Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Københavns Universitet
  • GSK
  • Triangulate Health
  • Dialab
  • Gigtforeningen
  • Det natur- og biovidenskabelige fakultet, Science, Københavns Universitet
  • Afdeling for Infektionssygdomme, Aarhus Universitet/Aarhus Universitetshospital
  • Infektionsmedicinsk Afdeling Q, Odense Universitetshospital
  • Microbial Ecology and Biotechnology, Københavns Universitet

Facts: What are antibiotic-resistant bacteria?
Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are bacteria that have evolved so that antibiotics can no longer kill them. All bacteria develop resistance over time, but the more antibiotics they are exposed to, the more rapidly this happens. In recent decades, the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has increased, such that resistance is escalating more rapidly than the development of new antibiotics that can kill these bacteria.

Facts: How antibiotic-resistant bacteria affect global health

  • In 2019, antimicrobial resistance directly caused 1.2 million deaths worldwide and 5 million deaths indirectly.
  • By 2050, an estimated 10 million people will die every year from antibiotic-resistant bacteria if we do not act.
  • The burden is greatest in the Global South. In sub-Saharan Africa, antimicrobial resistance caused 24 deaths per 100,000 population in 2019 versus 13 deaths per 100,000 population in high-income countries.

Further information


Nicolai Lysgaard Thomsen
Senior Public Affairs Manager
+45 3059 4896 [email protected]

For press-related enquiries:

Marie-Louise Jersin
Senior Communications Partner
+45 3049 4957 [email protected]