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Flagship Pioneering Names Dr. Nancy Simonian, CEO of Syros, as Recipient of the 2019 Pioneering Leader Award


CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Dec. 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Flagship Pioneering has announced the recipient of the firm's annual Pioneering Leader Award. The 2019 award recognizes Nancy Simonian, M.D., CEO of Syros Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SYRS), a company that is redefining the power of small molecules to control the expression of genes to develop therapies for cancer and monogenic diseases. Since joining Syros as its founding CEO in 2012, Dr. Simonian has led the transformation of the company from a discovery-stage company with a pioneering platform into a publicly traded clinical-stage company with multiple product candidates. Dr. Simonian accepted the award at Flagship Pioneering's 2019 Annual Meeting, held November 20 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Dr. Nancy Simonian, CEO of Syros

To launch Syros in 2011, Flagship Labs collaborated with leaders in the field of gene control from the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The company 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 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. 

"Leveraging her successful and distinguished career in bringing new medicines to patients, Nancy has charted the course for Syros, built an impressive team, and positioned the company to deliver new therapies addressing cancer and monogenic diseases," said Noubar Afeyan, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Flagship Pioneering. "During her tenure at Syros, Nancy has raised capital both privately and in the public markets to support new options for patients and create value for shareholders. In each step of Syros' journey, Nancy has shown pioneering spirit, strong instincts, and true leadership.  We congratulate Nancy and look forward to Syros' bright future."

"Syros was founded based on a fundamentally new approach to drug discovery and development with the potential to address diseases that have eluded other genomics-based approaches," said Dr. Simonian. "We are now advancing a deep pipeline of drug candidates, and what is particularly gratifying as we move our programs into clinical development is that we are beginning to see discoveries from our leading gene control platform translating into benefit for patients. I thank the entire Syros team for their effort and passion, and Flagship for its continued partnership as we continue to pursue our mission to develop medicines that provide a profound benefit for patients."

Previous recipients of Flagship's annual entrepreneurial leadership award include Stéphane Bancel, CEO of Moderna (2014), Faheem Hasnain, CEO of Receptos (2015), David Schenkein, CEO of Agios (2016), David Perry, CEO of Indigo Agriculture (2017), and Ryan Watts, CEO of Denali Therapeutics (2018).

Learn more about Syros at

About Flagship Pioneering
Flagship Pioneering conceives, creates, resources, and develops first-in-category life sciences companies to transform human health and sustainability. Since its launch in 2000, the firm has applied a unique hypothesis-driven innovation process to originate and foster more than 100 scientific ventures, resulting in over $30 billion in aggregate value. To date, Flagship is backed by more than $3.3 billion of aggregate capital commitments, of which over $1.7 billion has been deployed toward the founding and growth of its pioneering companies alongside more than $10 billion of follow-on investments from other institutions. The current Flagship ecosystem comprises 37 transformative companies, including Axcella Health (NADAQ: AXLA), Denali Therapeutics (NASDAQ:DNLI), Evelo Biosciences (NASDAQ:EVLO), Foghorn Therapeutics, Indigo Agriculture, Kaleido Biosciences (NASDAQ:KLDO), Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA), Rubius Therapeutics (NASDAQ:RUBY), Seres Therapeutics (NASDAQ:MCRB), and Syros Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SYRS). To learn more about Flagship Pioneering, please visit our website:

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