Researchers have long believed that alterations in non-coding regions of DNA, which account for 98% of the genome, play a key role in driving disease. However, the scientific community has lacked the tools to study these regions of the genome. As a result, targeted drug discovery and development to date has focused almost exclusively on genetic alterations found in regions of DNA that code for proteins, which represent less than 2% of the genome. Rapidly growing scientific evidence now points to non-coding regions of the genome as fundamental to cell type and function and to alterations in these regions as involved in the development and progression of a broad range of diseases.
While all cells share the same genome, each of the nearly 200 different cell types in the human body has a different function. What determines a cell’s type and function is the specific set of genes that is expressed, or turned ‘‘on’’ or ‘‘off,’’ in that particular cell. This coordinated activation and repression of genes is known as the cell’s gene expression program and it is controlled by non-coding regions of DNA. Alterations in these non-coding regions change a cell’s gene expression program, altering its normal function and leading to disease. Because this biology is fundamental to the function of all cells, it applies across diseases, whether the cause is genetic, environmental, bacterial, viral or multi-factorial.
Learn more about gene control
Syros is solely focused on gene control. Building on the seminal discoveries of our scientific founders, we have developed what we believe is the first proprietary platform designed to systematically and efficiently analyze non-coding regions of the genome to identify alterations in gene expression programs.
By doing so, we believe our gene control platform will allow us to:
- Identify a wide array of potential new drug targets across a range of diseases
- Provide a new lens for diagnosing and segmenting patients, including those with complex, multi-factorial diseases that have eluded segmentation with other genomic-based approaches
- Advance a new wave of medicines with the potential to influence multiple drivers of disease through a single target, making them less susceptible to drug resistance and providing patients with a more profound and durable benefit than many of today’s targeted therapies.
Learn more about our platform
Syros is focused on discovering and developing treatments for cancer and immune-mediated diseases, and we are building a pipeline of gene control medicines that have the potential to provide a profound and durable benefit for currently underserved patients.
Learn more about our pipeline