Using a combination of machine learning and genomic sequencing analysis, the Chicago-based, tech-startup Tempus is developing a system that will provide oncologists clinical library accessible through their proprietary operating system, allowing doctors to fine tune key components of cancer treatment based on the specific genetics of the patients and their cancers.
Founded Eric Lefkofsky, Tempus works with a dozen health care organizations including Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Michigan and the Mayo Clinic. The firm employs oncology specialists and data scientists working together to create a centralized database that will give physicians the ability to learn from previously treated cancer patients, connect with patients with shared clinical characteristics and increase the expected clinical outcomes of their treatments.
The idea for the company is born from Eric Lefkofsky personal experience with the life threatening disease. Following his wife Elizabeth’ diagnosis with breast cancer, the couple encountered frustrations resulting from the lack of data available to doctors treating the disorder.
Lefkofsky noted the irony that his other startup companies were providing more cancer information to assist truck driver’s than to physicians that were making decisions impacting their patients’ lives.
Having a competitive advantage over his competitors, Lefkofsky, whose estimated net worth exceeds $1.7 billion according to public sources, is able to provide several hundreds of millions in funding to get Tempus through its R&D phases. By contrast, most competitor firms with similar offerings are dependent on 3rd parties to keep their development moving forwards and to keep their operations running.
Aware of the challenges with outcome measurement in the bio-tech space that he is working to change, Lefkofsky is realistic that it could take years before the impact of Tempus’ system is able to be evaluated and actualized.
About Eric Lefkofsky
Co-founder and CEO of Tempus, Inc., Eric Lefkofsky earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and his Juris Doctor at University of Michigan Law School. Lefkofsky also co-founded Uptake, a predictive analytics company and is the chairman and co-founder of GroupOn, a global leader of local commerce.
Additionally, Eric Lefkofsky established the Lefkofsky Family Foundation with his wife and he is a member of the trustee board of Lurie’s Children’s Hospital of Chicago.
In 2014, Lefkofsky published “Accelerated Disruption,” dealing with critical startup considerations facing modern entrepreneurs.