Welcome to MagicBullet

European UnionMagicBullet - Optimisation of treatment with off-patent antimicrobial agents of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP)  is a collaborative project supported by the European Union under the Health Cooperation Work Programme of the 7th Framework programme (grant agreement number 278232).

General Description




MagicBullet is an ambitious research project that pursuits finding the antimicrobial treatment for one of the most serious and common illness suffered by the patients admitted in the intensive care units, that suffer ventilator associated pneumonia and that has gotten worse due to the increase in multiresistant bacteria.

This project is co-financed by the Seven Framework Programme for Investigation and Development of the European Commission with a budget of 5.988.018 €.

This European project will be carry out by more than 60 researchers from 35 different institutions in Spain, Greece, Italy, Germany and France. Mostly, they are public institutions and 2 biotechnological industries. It is a multidisciplinary team composed by specialist in intensive care, infectious diseases, microbiologist, pharmacologist, and basic researchers. 

The pneumonia associated to mechanical ventilation (VAP) is one of the most common infections acquired in the Intensive Care Units (ICU). The most common aetiology of the VAP is the Gram-negative bacilli, and among them the multidrug-resistant Gram-negative bacteria (MDR-GNB) is in the first place. In areas with a high rate of MDR-GNB the risk of inappropriate empirical treatment is bigger, and in the VAP an inappropriate empirical treatment is a factor of bad prognosis. The empirical treatment of election for VAP at this moment is unknown. Colistin, an “old drug”, is at the moment the antimicrobial with higher in vitro activity against MDR-GNB. However, non-clinical trial has been made with colistin so far. Other aspects of colistin are not either well known, like for example its mechanisms of resistance or the alteration of the intestinal microbiota during the treatment. On the other hand, the conventional microbiology techniques need from 48 to 72 hours to identify pathogens and determine their susceptibility; this is too much time in case of an inappropriate empirical treatment. 

The main objective of the MagicBullet Project is to optimized the empirical treatment of VAP caused by MDR-GNB, by define a standard drug for the empiric treatment and by decrease the time necessary to determine the etiology and susceptibility of the pathogens. For all of this, MagicBullet suggests a randomized clinical trial in phase IV, open, multicentric to compare the security and efficacy of intravenously (iv.) colistin with meropenem iv. in the empiric treatment of pneumonia associated to mechanical ventilation. In parallel with the clinical trial, the experts will study the pharmacokinetic of the drug, the dosage, the impact in the interstitial flora, the possible resistance appearance. Finally, we hope to improve the diagnosis time for pneumonia and the determination of the pathogens that causes it, to avoid delays in the establishment of an appropriate antimicrobial treatment. In the actuality, the microbiology diagnosis for this infection takes 72h; with this project our objective is to reduce it to the first 6 hours. 


Work Packages. Main objectives
Work Package 1.- Clinical Trial


 1. To demostrate that colistin iv. is not inferior to meropenen in empiric treatment of VAP regarding the final point of primary efficacy: mortality in the 28 subsequent days. 

 2. To compare the security of treatment with colistin vs. meropenem in VAP.

 3. To compare microbiological efficacy of treatment with colistin vs meropenen in VAP.


Work Package 2.- Clinical Trial PK/PD
Work Package 3.- Impact of the antimicrobial treatment on the intestinal microbiome
Work Package 4.- Analisis of antibiotic resistance mechanisms
Work Package 5.- Rapid assay for the detection of the microorganism
Work Package 6.- Rapid antimicrobial susceptibility test
Work Package 7.- Coordination and management
Work Package 8.- Dissemination and explotation
Links of interest
  •  AIDA: AIDA is a 7th Framework Program (FP7) project and involves collaboration between 14 partners from 11 different countries. It receives funding from the European Union. The project aims to answer the question of clinical effectiveness and optimal dosing of five off-patent-antibiotics: colistin, fosfomycin, nitrofurantoin, minocyclin and rifampicin.  The aim of the studies is to integrate all aspects that play a role in defining the optimal antibiotic choices and dosing regimens of the off-patent antibiotics in the treatment of infections caused by multi-resistant bacteria. Three randomized controlled trials as well as microbiological and PK/PD studies will assess clinically-relevant outcomes for the individual patient, PK/PD assessment and correlation between PK/PD parameters and clinical outcomes, including efficacy, toxicity and emergence of drug resistance.

  • ITRIBiS:The European Project ITRIBIS "Improving Translational Research Potential at the Institute of Biomedicine of Seville", is envisaged to enhance the IBiS' excellence to become a reference of biomedical translational research applied to prevalent diseases in South Europe; to improve the transfer of results and, thereby, increase the production of benefits for the region. It is focused in two main research lines: cell degeneration (brain, heart, cancer) and antimicrobial resistance.ITRIBIS is a Coordination and Support Action funded by the Capacities European Call FP7-REGPOT-2012-2013-1.




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