Syros Pharmaceuticals Announces Publication of Important Scientific Studies Related to Company's Industry-Leading Gene Control Platform

Syros Pharmaceuticals Announces Publication of Important Scientific Studies Related to Company's Industry-Leading Gene Control Platform

December 18, 2013

- Cancer Cell paper demonstrates a road map to tumor dependencies in lymph node cancer from Super-Enhancer analysis -

- Nature Biotechnology paper describes novel ChemSeq technology, which allows for genome mapping of small molecules -

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 papers recently published by Syros Scientific Founders Richard A. Young, Ph.D., and James E. Bradner, M.D., in Cancer Cell and Nature Biotechnology provide further validation of the Syros scientific platform.

The two publications are:

  • “Discovery and Characterization of Super-Enhancer-Associated Dependencies in Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma1,” published in Cancer Cell on December 9, 2013. This publication further establishes the rationale to systematically explore Super-Enhancers for insights into unrecognized tumor dependencies and novel biomarkers, and presents a strategy for treatment via modulating Super-Enhancers to inhibit cancer cell drivers.
  • “Genome-wide localization of small molecules2,” published online at Nature Biotechnology on December 15, 2013. This article details ChemSeq: a novel technology that provides the ability to map the pharmacological action of drug molecules to specific sites on the genome.

“The timely publication of these two journal articles is an exciting development for Syros and for those with cancer. These findings provide additional validation for Syros’ unique platform,” said Nancy Simonian, M.D., Syros’ Chief Executive Officer. “Our goal is to harness the potential of Super-Enhancers to develop novel gene control therapeutics, and, taken together, these research findings give us the foundation: a roadmap to leverage Super-Enhancers to find cancer growth dependencies that have previously been hidden from view, and the ability to see how small molecules impact their genomic targets.”

In “Discovery and Characterization of Super-Enhancer-Associated Dependencies in Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma,” by Chapuy et al., researchers show that Super-Enhancer analysis identifies known subtypes of Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL), the most common form of non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Super-enhancers were found adjacent to the key determinants of lineage and to oncoproteins. These data support the systematic interrogation of cancer cells for unrecognized tumor dependencies, Super-Enhancer modulation, and biomarkers.

In “Genome-wide Determination of Drug Localization,” Anders et al. detail the ChemSeq technology platform, which enables the identification of specific sites in the genome bound by small chemical molecules, including those that play a crucial role in regulating the transcription of key cancer driver genes. Syros has exclusively licensed ChemSeq technology, which was invented in the laboratories of Syros co-founders Dr. Young at the Whitehead Institute and Dr. Bradner at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

“The insights into the relationship between gene control and dependencies in this form of lymphoma suggest how the normal cell may be using Super-Enhancers to become cancerous. Identifying these super-enhancers opens up new avenues to explore for potential new therapies,” said Dr. Young. “And ChemSeq is a natural addition to the suite of proprietary technologies that supports Syros’ industry-leading gene control platform. When integrated with multiple streams of other gene control data using Syros’ bioinformatics architecture, ChemSeq can give us insights into what actually happens within the genome with respect to the molecular effects of a drug molecule.”

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.

1 Chapuy et al., Discovery and Characterization of Super-Enhancer-Associated Dependencies in Diffuse Large B Cell Lymphoma, Cancer Cell (2013), http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccr.2013.11.003

2 Anders et al., Genome-wide localization of small molecules, Nature Biotechnology (2013), http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nbt.2776.html