Eric Lefkofsky has emerged as one of Chicago’s leading entrepreneurs and tech figures. Lefkofsky’s latest venture is the co-founding of Tempus a tech start-up whose goals is to develop a platform that provides for the advancement of care in cancer patients.
Founded in 2015, Tempus has already grown to be a company that employs 200 workers. Tempus recently secured $70 million in funding which contributed to the city of Chicago exceeding full-year funding totals for both 2015 and 2016. Tempus now shares top ten status for tech companies in the city of Chicago with companies such as Avant, Outcome Health, SMS assist and IRI, a marktet research company.
In order to understand the full scope of the Tempus mission one must gain a deeper understanding of cancer and the current standards of care. Firstly, cancer is not a single disease but rather a collective term that describe an inability by the body to recognize faulty cellular mechanisms which would protect from further damage. When abnormal cell growth becomes uncontrolled and forms tumor it is said that a patient has a cancerous growth. When untreated, these tumors can possibly spread to other parts of the body causing further damage and can even lead to death. Since tumors are in essence material of the body’s own cells it fails to recognize them as dangerous and allows them to exist. While much more is needed in regards to knowledge of cancer it has been determined that it is a genetic disease resulting from dysfunctional genes regulating cell function.
What Eric Lefkofsky discovered was that patient information regarding this disease was not being optimally stored. Typical recording of patient information was doctor’s notes, lab test results, and written diagnosis.
Tempus has developed a software data program capable of analyzing large volumes of both molecular and clinical data. Tempus works with systems such as Northwestern, The Mayo clinic, The Cleveland Clinic, and many others to help cancer physicians collect, manage and analyze data.
Lefkosky asserts that Tempus is Unique because it offers solutions from the diagnosis of disease until successful treatment. Tempus leaves no period of a patient’s care undocumented. Tempus services are two-fold as it provides gene-sequencing tests for patients as well as offering to physicians software-based solutions enabling rapid comparisons of a patients genetic profile to a large database of other patients. This allows doctors to access clinical trials and evaluate the most effect treatments for patients with a specific genetic make-up.