Flagship Pioneering launched a bioplatform company—Harbinger Health—to pioneer the detection of early cancer via a blood test that combines artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning advances.

Harbinger Health’s proprietary HarbingerHx platform was designed to create an entirely new paradigm for cancer diagnosis, enabling early therapeutic interventions or prevention. Stephen Hahn, MD, a previous commissioner of the United States Food & Drug Administration, and former chief medical executive of MD Anderson Cancer Center, will lead the company as CEO of Harbinger Health.

“Harbinger Health has the potential to revolutionize the way we detect, diagnose, and treat cancer, enabling interventions at a much earlier phase of the disease than is currently possible,” says Doug Cole, MD, co-founder and chairman, Harbinger Health and managing partner, Flagship Pioneering. “Unlike prior approaches that are purely statistical in nature, Harbinger’s approach is informed by its insights into specific biological events that take place early in the development of cancer. After three years of research and development within Flagship Labs, we have created a platform that harnesses these insights to enable high-resolution, blood-based assays. With Harbinger Health, we have the potential to intervene in the cancer continuum far earlier than ever before, thus increasing the opportunities to save more lives.”

Hahn, who joined Flagship earlier this year as chief medical officer of the company’s Preemptive Medicine and Health Security Initiative, will now become a Flagship CEO-Partner as well as CEO of Harbinger. Flagship’s initial commitment to Harbinger Health is $50 million.

“Harbinger Health is poised to redefine our approach to oncology, moving beyond cancer ‘staging,’ and toward early detection that enables the diagnosis and treatment of cancer and ultimately to effectively reduce morbidity and mortality associated with the disease,” says Hahn. “We are committed to developing our platform so there is access to early cancer detection for all individuals with a simple test. No one should be disadvantaged in the fight against cancer – it’s our goal to bring the power of this platform not only to those with access to the top cancer centers – but to everyone.”