“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.
May Orfali, M.D., M.B.A.
May Orfali, M.D., M.B.A., serves as Chief Medical Officer at Harbinger Health. She has a deep and extensive background in clinical drug development and regulatory strategy that spans over two decades in multiple therapeutic areas, with a focus on rare diseases, cell and gene therapy, CAR-T, oncology, hematology, infectious disease, and women’s health.
Dr. Orfali most recently was Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Sigilon Therapeutics- an encapsulated allogenic cell therapy company where she led clinical, regulatory and patient advocacy functions, as well as President of Rare Disease & Oncology Consulting, LLC. She previously was Chief Medical Officer at CANbridge Life Sciences, where she led clinical development and medical affairs, focusing on progressing phase 1 and phase II oncology assets in glioblastoma multiforme and esophageal cancer, filing an NDA for neratinib in China in adjuvant and metastatic breast cancer therapy.
Prior to that, she served in leadership roles of increasing responsibility at Pfizer, including as Executive Director, Global Product Development, where she was responsible for patient-focused drug development across multiple rare disease assets in hematology, sickle cell disease, hemophilia, endocrinology, gene therapy and TTR-amyloidosis. Prior to that role, Dr. Orfali was Pfizer’s Senior Director and Global Medical Lead/Medicines Development Group, Specialty Care Business Unit, where she spearheaded its rare disease drug development strategy, including gene therapy; oversaw global drug development in TTR-amyloidosis; and was Global Medical Lead for hematology, specifically in hemophilia A and B, across North America, Europe and Asia.
Dr. Orfali holds a medical degree from the University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq, and a Pharmaceutical Master of Business Administration from Cambridge University, Cambridge, England. She completed her Fellowship in Pediatric Oncology/Hematology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA and practiced medicine and conducted clinical research in medical oncology at Dana Farber Cancer Research Institute.
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