WATERTOWN, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Syros Pharmaceuticals, a life sciences company harnessing breakthroughs in gene control to revolutionize the treatment of cancer and other diseases, announced today that Stéphane Bancel, President and Founding Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Moderna Therapeutics, and Senior Partner at Flagship Ventures, has joined its Board of Directors.

“I am excited to welcome Stéphane, an accomplished life sciences business leader and CEO to Syros’ Board of Directors,” said Nancy Simonian, M.D., Syros’ Chief Executive Officer. “Stéphane has established an exceptional track record of accomplishment in our industry. His successes in financing and building companies as well as in creating value are widely admired. I look forward to working with Stéphane as Syros seeks to transform and commercialize our cutting-edge science into therapeutics for patients whose disease is driven by mis-regulated genes.”

Said Mr. Bancel, “Syros’ leadership in understanding gene control opens entirely new avenues to treat cancer and other serious diseases. The company’s revolutionary approach creates significant opportunity to impact health and create value. I am excited to become part of this effort and honored to join a team that is world-class at both the board and executive levels.”

Mr. Bancel joined Flagship Ventures as a Senior Partner in 2013 having joined Moderna Therapeutics in the summer of 2011 during its formative stages while operating within the Flagship's VentureLabs innovation foundry. Under his leadership, Moderna has developed a completely novel therapeutic platform based on messenger RNA, and secured a groundbreaking $240 million upfront preclinical licensing partnership with AstraZeneca. Moderna was recently named to the World Economic Forum’s Community of Global Growth Companies.

Mr. Bancel was previously CEO of bioMérieux, a world leader in the diagnostics industry with more than 6,000 employees, a market capitalization of $3.7 billion, and sales of more than $1.7 billion. During his five years with bioMérieux, he accelerated the company’s sales growth rate to above 9% per year, grew EBIT at 12%, enhanced its position as the global leader in clinical microbiology and re-accelerated its immuno-assay franchise by focusing on high medical value biomarkers.

Prior to his time at bioMérieux, Mr. Bancel was Managing Director of Eli Lilly in Belgium and Executive Director of Global Manufacturing Strategy and Supply Chain at Eli Lilly in Indianapolis, Indiana. Mr. Bancel holds a Master of Engineering from École Central Paris, a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Mr. Bancel is named as an inventor on over 45 patent filings in the field of messenger RNA technology. In 2009, he was elected a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and best CEO for investor relations in France. In 2011, Mr. Bancel was ranked the number one CEO in the biotech sector according to the 2011 Thomson Reuters EXTEL Study. Mr. Bancel serves as a Director of the Board of Moderna Therapeutics, a Supervisory Director of Qiagen N.V. and is the Executive Chairman of the Board of BG Medicine, Inc.

About Syros Pharmaceuticals

Syros Pharmaceuticals is a life sciences company harnessing breakthroughs in gene control to revolutionize the treatment of cancer and other diseases. Syros’ proprietary platform identifies the master switches for disease genes, opening a whole new approach to novel therapeutics. Syros’ initial focus is in cancer, but the company platform will also be applicable to other therapeutic areas. The Company’s founders are pioneers in gene control research and translation. Co-founded and backed by Flagship Ventures and ARCH Venture Partners, Syros Pharmaceuticals is located in Watertown, MA. For more information, visit www.syros.com.

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Mike Beyer, 312-961-2502

Source: Syros Pharmaceuticals