Eric Lefkofsky’s Passion Project

Eric Lefkofsky is known in the tech world as the co-founder and developer of giants like Groupon, Mediaocean, and InnerWorkings. Curating and cultivating companies of that caliber grew Lefkofsky’s wealth to a staggering $1.7 billion according to Forbes. Having laid the foundation for his life, he exited the world of startup companies and set out to never have to be involved in that labor intensive process again.

That fact would have remained true, but then Lefkofsky’s wife Liz was diagnosed breast cancer. When they were thrown into the world of a cancer patient and the loved one of a cancer patient, they quickly realized all the many gaps in the ability of oncologists to provide a comprehensive list options for treatment. Not one to be a passive participant in an important process like this, Lefkofsky developed Tempus.

Tempus’ overall goal is to provide usable data to health care providers. In order to achieve this, the company had to establish connections with some of the nations leading medical facilities. Physicians at the Mayo Clinic, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Michigan send their patients that are diagnosed with cancer to Tempus. From there, each person is sequenced in Tempus’ labs. At this point the patient’s individual molecular and clinical information are input into the database. The physician that originally sent the patient to Tempus is then given access to the system and is able to see what mutations the patient may have. It also allows them to see treatment histories for the patient’s mutation type and what approaches worked best on a retroactive basis. At its core, Tempus is still a data company, but the data is then translated to be a productive tool for the health care medical community.

The model of Tempus is the first of its kind and has the potential to create life altering results. The impact of Tempus has yet to be fully realized as it is still in its infancy, but when those results make themselves known, they will be astounding for the medical community.