CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Syros Pharmaceuticals today announced that Sanj K. Patel, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals, has been appointed to the Company’s Board of Directors. Mr. Patel brings more than 25 years of biopharmaceutical industry experience, with a proven track record of developing and commercializing innovative therapies and building successful business enterprises.

“With his extensive drug development, commercialization and leadership experience, Sanj will be a tremendous asset to Syros as we work toward building a fully integrated biopharmaceutical company based on our pioneering approach to advance a new wave of genomic medicines,” said Nancy Simonian, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Syros. “Sanj brings deep expertise and insight into translating innovative science into important new therapies and high-value biotech companies. We’re very pleased to have him on our board.”

Before founding Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals in 2015, Mr. Patel was President and Chief Executive Officer of Synageva BioPharma Corp. as well as a director of the company. He created Synageva in 2008 to focus on rare diseases and oversaw the company’s lead program, Kanuma®, for LAL deficiency. Mr. Patel took Synageva public in November 2011, raising more than $1 billion in capital in less than five years, and he led the $9.5 billion (including cash) acquisition of Synageva by Alexion Pharmaceuticals in June 2015. Prior to Synageva, Mr. Patel served in a variety of senior leadership roles at Genzyme Corp. from 1999-2008, including head of U.S. Sales, Marketing and Commercial Operations for Genzyme Therapeutics’ Lysosomal Storage Disorder franchise, Vice President of Clinical Research and Head of the Global Clinical Research Operations Council. Earlier in his career, Mr. Patel held roles in clinical research and commercial operations at Burroughs Wellcome, Hoechst Marrion Roussel and Fujisawa Pharmaceuticals. He is currently a member of the board of directors of BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded company. Mr. Patel earned his BSc with Honors in Biotechnology from the University of the South Bank, London. He completed his management and business studies at Ealing College in London and his Pharmacology research program at the Wellcome Foundation.

“Syros’ gene control platform enables the systematic analysis of the non-coding region of the genome, which has been largely unexploited for drug discovery and development, and has the potential to uncover a wide array of novel drug targets across a range of therapeutic areas and diseases,” said Mr. Patel. “I look forward to working with the leadership team and the board to realize the Company’s mission of developing medicines that provide a profound and durable benefit for currently underserved patients.”

About Syros Pharmaceuticals
Syros Pharmaceuticals is pioneering the understanding of the non-coding region of the genome to advance a new wave of medicines that control expression of disease-driving genes. Syros has built a proprietary platform that is designed to systematically and efficiently analyze this unexploited region of DNA in human disease tissue to identify and drug novel targets linked to genomically defined patient populations. Because gene expression is fundamental to the function of all cells, the Company’s gene control platform has broad potential to achieve profound and durable benefit across a range of diseases. Syros is focused on cancer and immune-mediated diseases and is advancing a growing pipeline, including its lead drug candidates SY-1425, a selective RARα agonist for genomically defined subsets of patients identified by its platform, for a range of cancers including acute myeloid leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome, and SY-1365, a selective CDK7 inhibitor for a range of blood cancers and solid tumors. Led by a team with deep experience in drug discovery, development and commercialization, Syros is located in Cambridge, Mass.

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Source: Syros Pharmaceuticals