Cyteir Therapeutics, Inc., a Cambridge, MA-based developer of novel therapeutics based on the biology of DNA repair, received a $2m, two-year grant.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), provided the funding.
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, the company 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.
Led by Donald F. Corcoran, President and Chief Executive Officer, Cyteir 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, the company seeks to induce selective self-destruction of cancer cells to provide novel therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases.