CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Syros Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: SYRS), a leader in the development of medicines that control the expression of genes, today announced the appointment of Mark Alles to the Company’s Board of Directors. Mr. Alles is a recognized biopharmaceutical executive with a proven record of building successful global oncology organizations and commercializing innovative therapies over his 30-year career.

“Mark is an outstanding leader who drove the growth of Celgene into an oncology powerhouse that delivered important therapies for patients across the world,” said Nancy Simonian, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Syros. “His deep strategic, operational and commercial experience will be invaluable to Syros as we continue to advance toward our vision of being a fully integrated company with medicines that make a profound difference for patients.”

Mr. Alles is the former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Celgene Corporation, now a subsidiary of Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (BMS). In his 16-year tenure at Celgene, Mr. Alles led the expansion of the company from a US-based organization with less than 500 employees into a global enterprise serving patients in more than 50 countries with 8,800 employees. He held a series of commercial and leadership roles of escalating responsibility, consistently delivering industry-leading financial performance. He led teams that completed several multibillion-dollar company or asset acquisitions, built a diverse suite of globally marketed medicines and a pipeline of high-potential therapeutics for cancer and serious inflammatory diseases, all of which ultimately led to the $74 billion acquisition of Celgene by BMS.

Before joining Celgene, Mr. Alles was Vice President of the U.S. Oncology business unit at Aventis Pharmaceuticals and served in other senior commercial management roles at Aventis (Rhône-Poulenc Rorer). He began his career in the pharmaceutical industry at Bayer and worked at Centocor before its acquisition by Johnson & Johnson. Mr. Alles earned his B.S. degree from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania and served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps. Mr. Alles is a former Board member of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA), the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), Gilda’s Club NYC (non-profit helping families of people with cancer), and a former member of the Trustees for the Healthcare Institute of New Jersey (HINJ).

“There is tremendous promise in Syros’ pipeline programs and its pioneering approach for discovering and developing oral medicines to control the expression of genes,” said Mr. Alles. “I look forward to working with the board and the management team to build a great and enduring company that fulfills our shared mission of delivering medical innovation for patients.”

Syros also announced that Vicki L. Sato, Ph.D., has stepped down from the Company’s board of directors.

“On behalf of our board of directors and management team, I want to thank Vicki for her years of service and her many contributions to Syros,” Dr. Simonian said. “We are grateful for her thoughtful guidance and support over the years.”

About Syros Pharmaceuticals
Syros is redefining the power of small molecules to control the expression of genes. Based on its unique ability to elucidate regulatory regions of the genome, Syros aims to develop medicines that provide a profound benefit for patients with diseases that have eluded other genomics-based approaches. Syros is advancing a robust pipeline of development candidates, including SY-1425, a first-in-class oral selective RARα agonist in a Phase 2 trial in a genomically defined subset of acute myeloid leukemia patients, and SY-5609, a highly selective and potent oral CDK7 inhibitor in investigational new drug application-enabling studies in cancer. Syros also has multiple preclinical and discovery programs in oncology and monogenic diseases, including sickle cell disease. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter (@SyrosPharma) and LinkedIn.

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including without limitation statements regarding Syros’ ability to achieve its vision of becoming a fully integrated company with medicines that make a profound difference for patients, and to discover and develop oral medicines to control the expression of genes . The words ‘‘anticipate,’’ ‘‘believe,’’ ‘‘continue,’’ ‘‘could,’’ ‘‘estimate,’’ ‘‘expect,’’ “hope,” ‘‘intend,’’ ‘‘may,’’ ‘‘plan,’’ ‘‘potential,’’ ‘‘predict,’’ ‘‘project,’’ ‘‘target,’’ ‘‘should,’’ ‘‘would,’’ and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions and expectations disclosed in these forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including Syros’ ability to: advance the development of its programs, including SY-1425 and SY-5609, under the timelines it projects in current and future clinical trials; demonstrate in any current and future clinical trials the requisite safety, efficacy and combinability of its drug candidates; successfully progress SY-5609 through IND-enabling preclinical and toxicology studies; replicate scientific and non-clinical data in clinical trials; obtain and maintain patent protection for its drug candidates and the freedom to operate under third party intellectual property; obtain and maintain necessary regulatory approvals; identify, enter into and maintain collaboration agreements with third parties, including its ability to perform under the collaboration agreements with Incyte and Global Blood Therapeutics; manage competition; manage expenses; raise the substantial additional capital needed to achieve its business objectives; attract and retain qualified personnel; and successfully execute on its business strategies; risks described under the caption “Risk Factors” in Syros’ Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2018 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2019, each of which is on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission; and risks described in other filings that Syros makes with the Securities and Exchange Commission in the future. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and Syros expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise.

Media Contact:
Naomi Aoki
Syros Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Investor Contact:
Hannah Deresiewicz
Stern Investor Relations, Inc.

Source: Syros Pharmaceuticals