Launch of Pew Trust’s Shared Platform for Antibiotic Research and Knowledge (SPARK)

Oct 16th, 2018

Pew Trust has launched a publicly available interactive tool to provide data to help scientists around the world to identify urgently needed new antibiotics.

The pipeline of products in development to treat or prevent bacterial infections is stagnant and cannot meet today’s urgent and growing patient needs. Experts have repeatedly identified information sharing as essential to spurring innovation but have had difficulty benefiting from the insights of others.

Previously, there was no publicly available mechanism for sharing data and expertise across the antibiotic discovery research community. To help address these challenges, Pew created a cloud-based data-sharing tool called “SPARK”. It is a digital platform allowing researchers to share data, ideas, learn from past research and insights to spur the discovery of innovative new antibiotics needed in the battle against the growing global threat of drug-resistant bacteria or superbugs.

The information in SPARK is collected and curated by a team of antibiotic discovery experts and includes chemical and biological data relevant to understanding how molecules can get into Gram-negative bacteria and stay there, a critical factor in designing drugs that can defeat these increasingly hard-to-treat pathogens. SPARK integrates chemical and biological data from published studies as well as previously unpublished data, and provides an opportunity for real-time collaboration among scientists in industry, academia, government, and the nonprofit sector.

This information-sharing platform is of immense importance to JPIAMR and its funded researchers belonging to the antibiotic discovery community. SPARK provides antibiotic discovery data and cutting-edge analytics that will help JPIAMR generate and share new hypotheses and maximize the potential for developing new antibiotics.

To know more about the SPARK platform please read here.