“The greatest need we have today in the human cancer problem, except for a universal cure, is a method for detecting cancer before there are any clinical signs or symptoms.”
Sidney Farber, M.D.
Father of modern chemotherapy
pioneering the detection of early cancer
Harbinger Health is pioneering the detection of early cancer and enabling foundationally new approaches to cancer screening, diagnosis and management. Incubated within Flagship Pioneering for three years before launching in 2021, Harbinger combines advances in artificial intelligence with proprietary insights into the biology of the beginnings of cancer to identify cancer before it is visible or symptomatic with the aim of developing a low-cost, multi-cancer blood test.
A harbinger is a “forerunner, that which precedes and gives notice of the coming of another.” We not only are working to identify the harbinger – the biological programs present in the earliest forms of cancer – but seek to be the harbinger, to be the forerunner which will usher in the future of healthcare.
At Harbinger, we intend to lead in shaping this future – creating a proactive paradigm so that people can live cancer-free for longer, adding years to life and life to years. We envision a future where, instead of keeping cancer from spreading, it could be kept from forming, making a cancer diagnosis a routine health problem to be addressed rather than a life-altering event to be feared with profound implications for people, healthcare systems and societies.
Our answer to the problem of late cancer detection and unacceptable patient prognoses starts with our proprietary solutions for the future of cancer pre-emption. Beginning with blood-based tests, we will enable cancer detection before it is visible. By identifying biological programs rooted in cancer's origins, we can enable identification of early stage and pre-disease. Through this new pathway for cancer diagnosis and early therapeutic interventions, Harbinger Health has the potential to fundamentally change cancer care, for everyone.
Prof. Alexander Meissner, Ph.D.
Dr. Meissner is Scientific Member of the Max Planck Society and currently the Managing Director of the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin. He is heading the Department of Genome Regulation and remains a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology at Harvard University. Before his move to the Max Planck Institute he was a tenured Professor at Harvard University and Senior Associate Member of the Broad Institute where he co-directed the Epigenomics Program.
Dr. Meissner obtained his undergraduate training in biotechnology from the Technical University in Berlin, Germany and completed is PhD and postdoctoral training at the Whitehead Institute (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in Cambridge, USA. He is the recipient of a Weizmann Institute of Science, Karyn Kupcinet fellowship, a Boehringer Ingelheim PhD fellowship, a Pew Biomedical Scholarship and was named a New York Stem Cell Foundation, Robertson Investigator as well as elected as a Member to the European Molecular Biology Organization.
Dr. Meissner laboratory uses genomic tools to study developmental and disease biology with a particular focus on epigenetic regulation. Dr. Meissner and his colleagues have pioneered next generation sequencing technologies to study the epigenome in mammalian development and disease.
our leadership team
our board of directors
Director, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Community Engagement
Operation Warp Speed
Professor, Department of Gastrointestical Medical Oncology
Chair Department of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics
Chief Quality Officer
Board member, Kaiser Foundation