MUNASET: A new Horizon Europe project kicked off
Proteases recently emerged as a promising new class of biomarkers with a broad diagnostic, prognostic and therapeutic potential for different human diseases including neurological and psychiatric diseases, several types of cancer and immune system disorders. However, there is a lack of tools for real-time activity analysis of disease-related protease biomarkers.
MUNASET will develop a rapid, highly sensitive and easy-to-use graphene-based biosensor platform to address therapy response prediction and allow faster and more precise treatment identification, improve therapy outcomes and reduce hospitalization time. MUNASET will also help secure Europe’s industrial leadership over the entire value chain of novel graphene-based bio-analytical tools. The project, funded by the European Commission’s Horizon Europe programme, is part of the Graphene Flagship initiative which works to advance technologies that rely on graphene and other 2D materials.
As a specific business case, we plan to address therapy response prediction along treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD). MDD is one of the most common and burdensome mental disorders worldwide. MDD is also among the most expensive brain diseases in Europe. While effective treatments exist, there is a high variability in treatment response. There are no serum-based tests to predict personalized therapy for MDD patients. The effective treatment is identified through trial and error, a great burden for patients and the health care system.
The MUNASET consortium received funding for over €4 million to cover activities for four years and is under the leadership of Professor Alexey Tarasov, Kaiserslautern University of Applied Sciences. It is composed of six partners across four European countries: Germany, Finland, Belgium and Spain. The consortium members include: Graphenea Semiconductor SL, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd, Mainz University Medical Center and ProActive Ltd. The MUNASET project is a new member of the Graphene Flagship initiative.
“The aim of the MUNASET project is to develop graphene-based devices to help doctors monitor the therapy of patients with depression and other psychiatric disorders. The envisioned test is fast, easy-to-use, only requires blood samples and can be used at the point of care to develop personalized therapies. It can greatly improve the treatment outcomes of psychiatric diseases,” says Professor Alexey Tarasov, Project Coordinator.