“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.
Stephen Hahn, M.D.
Stephen M. Hahn, M.D., is CEO-Partner of Flagship Pioneering and Chief Executive Officer of Harbinger Health. Steve joined Flagship in June 2021 as Chief Medical Officer of its Preemptive Health and Medicine Initiative, which is creating a new field that aims to protect, maintain, or improve people’s health before they get sick. Steve will continue as a strategic advisor to the Initiative.
Steve brings two decades of distinguished leadership in healthcare strategy, oncology medical practice, and translational/clinical research to this role. He served as the 24th U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner from 2019 to 2021 overseeing both COVID and non-COVID regulatory affairs, including therapeutics and vaccine development, devices, diagnostics, and clinical trials.
Prior to his FDA appointment, Steve served as chief medical executive at the world-renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Prior to his role as chief medical executive, he served as deputy president and chief operating officer where he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the nation’s top cancer center, which included leading more than 21,000 employees and overseeing a $5.2 billion operating budget. Steve was elevated to the chief operating officer role after serving as division head, department chair, and professor of Radiation Oncology. Prior to his executive leadership roles at MD Anderson, Dr. Hahn was the leader of radiation oncology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine.
Steve focused his translational research efforts on the evaluation of the tumor microenvironment, signal transduction pathways involved in tumor response to therapies and proton therapy. He has authored more than 220 peer-reviewed original research articles and has experience in medical product development.
Steve earned his M.D. from Temple University and received his B.A. in Biology from Rice University. He was an internal medicine resident at the University of California San Francisco before completing a fellowship and residency at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.
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