Cyteir Therapeutics Receives $2M Grant from National Cancer Institute 

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – June 29, 2016 – Cyteir Therapeutics, Inc., a leader in the development of novel therapeutics based on the biology of DNA repair, today announced that it has received a $2 million, two-year grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant will support continued preclinical development of a novel RAD51 modulator for the treatment of cancers. 

As part of the Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) that jointly funds small businesses and nonprofit research institutions, Cyteir will partner with The Jackson Laboratory for in vivo testing and Eastern Maine Medical Center, which will provide human tissue samples. In this Phase II STTR grant, Cyteir aims to advance its lead candidates to the IND-enabling phase by completing pre-GLP pharmacology and toxicology studies and establishing efficacy and durability in preclinical models. The grant follows a Phase I STTR awarded to Cyteir in 2014, which supported feasibility studies that identified lead candidate compounds targeting RAD51. 

Cyteir’s approach leverages recent discoveries from the laboratory of co-founder and chief scientific officer, Dr. Kevin Mills, namely, the identification of activation induced cytidine deaminase (AID) as both a biomarker and driver of DNA damage. By modulating the DNA repair protein RAD51 in AID-positive cells, Cyteir seeks to induce selective self-destruction of cancer cells to provide novel therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. Preclinical studies to date have demonstrated Cyteir’s lead RAD51 modulator to be potent, highly selective for AID-positive cells, effective against cancer cells in vitro and in vivo, and well tolerated in preclinical animal models. 

“The continued support of the National Cancer Institute validates the promise of our preclinical program and provides an excellent foundation as we advance our lead candidates to IND-enabling,” said Donald F. Corcoran, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cyteir. “We are eager to work with our collaborating institutions to develop our novel RAD51 modulators for use in cancers.” 

About Cyteir
Cyteir Therapeutics is a leader in the discovery and development of novel therapeutics based on the biology of DNA repair for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. Our initial approach takes advantage of DNA damage overload to induce selective self-destruction of cells by targeting disease-induced RAD51 transport.