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Better medicines through gene control


Better medicines through gene control

We are a therapeutics company passionately committed to applying our scientific leadership in the emerging field of gene control to transform the lives of patients with cancer and other diseases.  

Founded by world-leading experts in gene regulation, and led by a seasoned management team, Syros is focused on developing new medicines that control genes that cause disease. Central to our approach is a proprietary drug development platform of integrated gene control assay technologies, computational biology, chemistry, and deep biologic insights that gives us an unprecedented understanding of and control over gene regulation. Our pioneering research and drug development capabilities provide us with the distinctive ability to identify new, important disease and patient-targeted gene control medicines.

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Working together to transform patients’ lives through the creation of novel gene control medicines


Working together to transform patients’ lives through the creation of novel gene control medicines

At Syros, our mission guides our every goal and grounds us in the reality that patients will be the greatest benefactors of our work.  Members of our exceptional team naturally exemplify our values, support our mission and strive toward our destination of transforming lives.


Interested in joining our team?  Visit our careers page.


Based on the disruptive science of gene control


Based on the disruptive science of gene control

Gene control

Our science

Precise control of genes is at the heart of cell identity and cellular function. When gene control is fundamentally altered or lost, healthy, normal cells transform into diseased cells – in essence, disease is caused by cell misidentity.

The nucleus, the source of gene control and the information processing center of the cell, has historically been a “black box” for drug development. A powerful convergence of new knowledge stemming from recent advances in genomics, biology and computational biology provides an unprecedented opportunity to understand the control of genes in disease state. Syros is based on this disruptive science of gene control. Syros founders’ seminal discovery of super-enhancers, a new class of gene control elements, enables us to understand the master switches used by a cell to maintain its identity. Importantly, our scientists found that in disease, these master switches also control the expression of genes driving disease. These gene control elements provide a road map for understanding and controlling disease causing genes.


Our platform

Syros’ platform maps gene control circuits in human disease tissue and identifies optimal points of intervention for therapeutics.  Our platform identifies important genes controlling cell state and disease. Through the construction of differential gene control maps, new molecular targets can be identified in much the same way that disease driving genes such as oncogenes have been identified through mutational analysis. Our platform also identifies optimal approaches to disrupt gene control machinery.  By disrupting the switches themselves, multiple disease-associated genes can be reduced with a single molecular intervention.  Support for this approach is described in a recent publication by Syros’ scientific founders. In this seminal work, scientists showed that inhibition of a gene control factor with a novel, small molecule inhibitor caused selective reduction in expression of disease causing genes in blood cancers. Importantly, Syros’ platform can identify specific patients most likely to respond to these gene control therapies.

We have industrialized the mapping of gene control regions, amassing the largest known collection of human gene regulatory circuits. We have integrated this new knowledge of gene regulation with advanced biology and chemistry capabilities to develop a product engine for novel gene control medicines.

The Syros platform has transformative benefits. Through our platform, we can systematically and efficiently interrogate disease biology, rapidly identify and validate targets from human tissue, and efficiently optimize gene control compounds. By working directly in disease tissue taken from patients, we can understand the unique biology of individuals and subsets of patients and will know which patients to treat with our medicines.


Transforming patient lives

Syros is unique in its approach to addressing disease through a sole focus on gene control. Guided by our mission to transform patients’ lives, our work starts and ends with the patient. We believe by understanding the unique biology underlying disease in individuals, we will know which patients are most likely to benefit from our therapies.

We are advancing several preclinical programs towards the clinic for the treatment of cancer.

Our disruptive platform has implications beyond therapeutics, with potential for groundbreaking applications in diagnostics and biomarker discovery.


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Founded by world-leading experts on gene regulation


Founded by world-leading experts on gene regulation

Our Founders

Based at the Whitehead Institute of MIT and the Dana-Farber Cancer Center of Harvard, Syros’ scientific founders have produced groundbreaking discoveries in gene control. Their work, the foundation of Syros’ drug development platform, has been published in leading scientific journals including Nature and Cell.


Richard Young, PhD

Member, Whitehead Institute
Professor of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

World leader in regulatory circuitry that controls the gene expression programs in cells




Jay Bradner, MD

President,  Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) 
Attending Physician & Investigator, Department of Medical Oncology Dana-Farber Cancer Center

World leader in small-molecule modulation of gene regulatory pathways; pioneering work in the bromodomain area


Nathanael Gray, PhD

Professor of Biological Chemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School | Dana-Farber Cancer Center

Pioneering use of synthetic chemistry and functional small molecule discovery to modulate biological pathways important in cancer; responsible for the discovery of numerous first-in-class kinase inhibitors


Scientific advisory board

We have highly-engaged advisors who are leaders in gene control, cancer biology and drug development.


Richard Young, PhD*,  Whitehead Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Nathanael Gray, PhD*,  Harvard Medical School, Dana Farber Cancer Institute

Bradley Bernstein, MD, PhD,  Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Stem Cell Institute, Harvard Medical School, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Broad Institute

Scott Biller, PhD,  Agios

Gerard Evan, PhD, FRS, FMedSci,  University of Cambridge, European Molecular Biology, UK Academy of Medical Sciences, Royal Society

Stefan Knapp, PhD,  Target Discovery Institute, Structuralb Genomics Consortium, University of Oxford

Mark Murcko, PhD,  Disruptive Biomedical, LLC;  Northeastern University;  Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Aviv Regev, PhD,  Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Broad Institute, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Klarman Cell Observatory

Phillip Sharp, PhD,  Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Roger Tung, PhD,  Concert Pharmaceuticals

Chris Vakoc, MD, PhD,  Cold Spring Harbor Lab

Bob Weinberg, PhD,  Whitehead Institute, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT Ludwig Center for Molecular Oncology

* Syros scientific founders

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Led by a team with deep drug development expertise


Led by a team with deep drug development expertise



Senior management team

The company’s management team has brought multiple high-value products to market in cancer, rare disease, neurology and immunology. Syros’ team includes leadership from Millennium, Biogen, Vertex, Wyeth, Pfizer, Knome, Forest Laboratories,  Infinity, Blueprint Medicines and GlaxoSmithKline.


Board of directors

The company is guided by a distinguished board of industry leaders, world-renowned scientists and seasoned life science investors and entrepreneurs.


Stephane Bancel

Marsha Fanucci
Former CFO,  Millennium

Jonathan Leff

Amir Nashat, PhD
Polaris Venture Partners

Bob Nelsen
ARCH Venture Partners

Vicki Sato, PhD
Harvard Business School

Phil Sharp, PhD
Nobel Laureate, Koch Institute, MIT

Nancy Simonian, MD
CEO, Syros

Rick Young, PhD
Whitehead Institute, MIT


Supported by leading life sciences venture and investment firms


Supported by leading life sciences venture and investment firms

Our Founding investors



ARCH Venture Partners

ARCH Venture Partners invests in disruptive innovation in life sciences, physical sciences, and in areas of technology convergence, and manages over $1.4 billion. Over 27 years, ARCH has invested in the founding or Series A round of over 160 companies in biotechnology, energy, and advanced materials, and instrumentation.



Flagship Ventures

Realizing entrepreneurial innovation is the mission of Flagship Ventures. The firm operates through two synergistic units: VentureLabs™, Flagship's innovation foundry which invents and launches transformative companies, and Venture Capital, which finances and develops innovative, early-stage companies. Founded in 2000, and based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Flagship Ventures manages over $900 million in capital and has founded 27 ventures while investing in another 45. The firm is active in three principal business sectors: therapeutics, health technologies and sustainability.