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 S. Gail Eckhardt, M.D., to the Company’s Board of Directors. Dr. Eckhardt is a highly respected oncologist and a leader in targeted oncology drug development.

“Gail brings tremendous vision and experience in translational and clinical research, with a focus on combining molecularly targeted agents to the underlying biology driving a particular cancer,” said Nancy Simonian, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Syros. “Her expertise and her unwavering commitment to patients will be invaluable to Syros as we expand our clinical programs and develop potentially transformative targeted approaches for a range of cancers. We are thrilled to welcome Gail to our board.”

Dr. Eckhardt is a tenured Professor, inaugural Director of the Livestrong Cancer Institutes, Chair of the Department of Oncology, and Associate Dean of Cancer Programs at the University of Texas at Austin’s Dell Medical School. Prior to joining UT Austin, Dr. Eckhardt was at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, where she was Division Head of Medical Oncology, Associate Director for Translational Research at the University of Colorado Comprehensive Cancer Center and Director of the Phase I Program and Fellowship. Dr. Eckhardt has served on numerous committees and study sections, including the ASCO Molecular Oncology Task Force, the ASCO Board of Directors, the FDA Oncology Drugs Advisory Committee, and the National Cancer Institute (NCI) Cancer Centers Study Section. She is a member of the NCI Investigational Drug Steering Committee and serves on 10 external advisory boards of NCI-designated cancer centers, was a lead mentor in ASCO’s Leadership Development Program and currently is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of American Cancer Institutes (AACI).

Dr. Eckhardt is the Principal Investigator on grants involving early clinical trials and colorectal cancer research, has conducted numerous phase I and II clinical trials and has published over 200 manuscripts. Her area of interest is in the preclinical and early clinical development of combinations of molecularly targeted compounds, with a laboratory focus on colorectal cancer. Dr. Eckhardt earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Stephen F. Austin State University and her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. She conducted her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Virginia Medical School, followed by a post-doctoral research fellowship in Experimental and Molecular Medicine at Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, and a fellowship in Medical Oncology at the University of California San Diego.

“In Syros, I see the same dedication to patients that has been a driving force throughout my career and the same focus on developing targeted new approaches that block fundamental processes in cancer,” said Dr. Eckhardt. “I look forward to working with the board and the management team to advance much needed new therapies for cancer patients.”

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, 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 a Phase 1 trial in patients with select solid tumors. Syros also has multiple preclinical and discovery programs in oncology and monogenic diseases. 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 expand its clinical programs, develop potentially transformative targeted approaches that block fundamental processes for a range of cancers, and advance new therapies for cancer patients. 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; replicate scientific and non-clinical data in clinical trials; successfully develop a companion diagnostic test to identify patients with the RARA biomarker; 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 its collaboration agreements with Incyte Corporation 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, 2019 and Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2020, 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. In addition, the extent to which the COVID-19 outbreak continues to impact our workforce and our discovery research, supply chain and clinical trial operations activities, and the operations of the third parties on which we rely, will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with confidence, including the duration and severity of the outbreak, additional or modified government actions, and the actions that may be required to contain the virus or treat its impact. 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