Harbinger Health Appoints May Orfali, M.D. as Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Orfali brings over 25 years of experience across biopharma clinical development and medical practice
Appointment comes at period of rapid growth as Harbinger prepares to complete enrollment for the CORE-HH clinical trial and meet other clinical and business milestones by end of 2023
Cambridge, Mass., May 23, 2023 – Harbinger Health, a biotechnology company pioneering the detection of early cancer, announced today the appointment of May Orfali, M.D., as Chief Medical Officer. Dr. Orfali will lead the Company’s Cancer Origin Epigenetics – Harbinger Health (CORE-HH) clinical trial to advance clinical product development and evidence generation for Harbinger’s novel platform technology. With more than 25 years of experience across the biopharma industry at companies such as Sigilon Therapeutics, Bioasis Technologies, and Pfizer, she will also charter Harbinger’s clinical development program beyond CORE-HH and lay the foundations of commercial availability. Hutan Ashrafian, M.D., Ph.D., M.B.A., Harbinger’s former Chief Medical Officer and current Chief Scientific Officer of Flagship Pioneering’s Preemptive Medicine and Health Security Initiative, will continue to work closely with Dr. Orfali in a clinical advisory role.
“May brings a wealth of experience in clinical product development and oncological care that will be invaluable to the advancement of our cancer origin epigenetics clinical trials,” said Stephen Hahn, M.D., CEO of Harbinger Health. “Harbinger is in a period of rapid growth, and we are on target for our planned clinical milestones, including completion of enrollment of our CORE-HH study by year end. May’s expertise will lead us in our next critical steps toward key milestones, with the ultimate goal making early cancer detection easier and more accessible to every patient. I also want to thank Hutan for spearheading our clinical team for the past 18 months and look forward to working with him as Harbinger continues to advance cancer detection.”
A hematology oncologist by training, Dr. Orfali most recently was the Chief Medical Officer at Sigilon Therapeutics. Prior to that, she was the Chief Medical Officer at CANbridge Life Sciences, where she led the clinical development and medical affairs group, focused on progressing Phase 1 and Phase II oncology assets in glioblastoma multiforme and esophageal cancer, and directed the medical review of business development opportunities in the rare disease space. Earlier in her career, Dr. Orfali held roles of increasing responsibility at Pfizer, including Executive Director, Global Product Development and Senior Director and Global Medical Lead/Medicines Development Group, Specialty Care Business Unit.
“I am excited to take on this role during such an exciting time in Harbinger’s growth, and work together with Harbinger’s executive team and talented clinical organization,” said Dr. Orfali. “The company’s technology has the potential to meet a global unmet need and revolutionize how we approach cancer diagnosis, treatment, and preventative care.”
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 and Hematology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Children’s Hospital and practiced medicine and conducted clinical research in medical oncology at Dana Farber Cancer Research Institute.
About Harbinger Health
Harbinger Health is pioneering the detection of early cancer and enabling foundationally new approaches to cancer screening, diagnosis and management. The company 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. Harbinger envisions 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. Harbinger was founded by Flagship Pioneering after three years of foundational research in its Labs unit and launched in 2020. Learn more about Harbinger by visiting Harbinger-Health.com or following us on Twitter (@harbingerhlth) and LinkedIn.