Syros Pharmaceuticals launches with $30m in Series A financing

Syros Pharmaceuticals, a newly launched company in Watertown that seeks to harness breakthroughs in gene control to treat cancer and other diseases, said Wednesday that it has completed a $30 million Series A financing led by company cofounders Arch Venture Partners and Flagship Ventures.

Nancy Simonian. Photo taken from company website.

In a press release, Syros said it will use the capital to accelerate the discovery and development of novel gene control medicines.

Nancy Simonian, M.D., will lead the company as chief executive. She was most recently chief medical officer at Millennium Pharmaceuticals and before that, a vice president of clinical development at Biogen Idec Inc.

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“Discovery of the switches for genes critical in disease opens a completely new approach to helping people with serious illnesses such as cancer,” Simonian said in a statement.

The company’s scientific founders include Richard A. Young of the Whitehead Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; James “Jay” E. Bradner, M.D., of Harvard Medical School, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Broad Institute; and Nathanael Gray of Harvard Medical School and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.