Kelly, Cornyn Introduce Bipartisan, Bicameral Bill to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance

Today, Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and John Cornyn (R-TX) introduced the Saving Us from Pandemic Era Resistance by Building a Unified Global Strategy (SUPER BUGS) Act of 2024, a bipartisan, bicameral bill to address the growing threat of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) by promoting international collaboration and investment in the development of new antimicrobial therapeutics, diagnostics, and treatments. These antimicrobial products include antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals, and antiparasitics. 

“Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat that endangers public health and undermines our ability to treat infections effectively. While Arizona researchers are continuing development of a vaccine to prevent Valley fever—the first ever fungal vaccine—there is much more work to do,” said Kelly. “Through the coordination between the U.S. healthcare community and international partners we’ll be able to identify and treat known and emerging pathogens before they reach pandemic levels.” 

“The rapid spread of drug-resistant bacteria and microbes is making infections increasingly difficult to treat and cure,” said Cornyn. “This legislation would save lives by supporting efforts to develop and implement strategies to bring new diagnostics and therapeutics that can help combat drug-resistant infections to market.” 


Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat, making infections harder to treat. Each year, 2.8 million Americans are infected with drug-resistant bacteria, resulting in over 35,000 deaths. Developing new antimicrobials is challenging due to the short-term use of these drugs and limited investment from developers. The SUPER BUGS Act would mandate coordination between the State Department, Health and Human Services, and USAID to develop strategies with international partners to create new antimicrobial products. These efforts target pathogens with pandemic potential or those identified as priority by the CDC or WHO. 

With its inclusion of antifungal products, this bill is Kelly’s third effort to combat Valley fever, a disease caused by a fungus commonly found in desert soils that can infect the lungs of humans and canines. Kelly’s other bipartisan bills include the Finding Orphan-disease Remedies with Antifungal Research and Development (FORWARD) Act, which supports research initiatives to combat Valley fever, and legislation to make Valley fever drug products eligible for a priority review voucher, allowing for an expedited review process at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  

In addition to Kelly and Cornyn, the SUPER BUGS Act has broad bipartisan support in the Senate. The House of Representatives version was introduced by Representatives Mike Levin (D-CA-49) and Drew Ferguson (R-GA-3).  

See what advocates are saying about the SUPER BUGS Act:  

“The Foundation applauds the introduction of the SUPER BUGS Act, as it signals an ongoing commitment to address the dire consequences of antimicrobial resistance,” said Mary Dwight, Chief Policy, and Advocacy Officer of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. “People with cystic fibrosis continuously face difficult-to-treat infections without the promise of effective or novel antibiotics. These challenges faced by people with CF today could be the challenges faced by all Americans tomorrow if policies like SUPER BUGS are not championed. We commend Senators Kelly and Cornyn for continuing the discussion on how we can formulate comprehensive, global strategies to develop life-saving antimicrobial products through collaboration with the international community, potentially staving off another pandemic.”  

“We can no longer delay action to combat AMR. The ripple effects of this global public health crisis are far and wide, and our already ailing health care system desperately needs the fortification and infrastructure that policy solutions like the SUPER BUGS Act aim to support,” said Candace DeMatteis, Policy Director, Partnership to Fight Infectious Disease (PFID).  “AMR is a global problem that can only be solved by a unified global effort. The SUPER BUGS Act engages the US Government in efforts to create that unified global effort. As someone who is battling a resistant infection, I strongly support the efforts of leaders like Senators Kelly and Cornyn to address the growing AMR crisis,” said Rob Purdie, Co-Founder of MyCARE.