Tempus Labs is gaining interest in the startup world as a leader in investments. It has even gained the prestigious “unicorn” status, raising more than $210 million in less than two years. The company has recently gained an additional $80 million in funding from companies like Kinship Trust, T. Rowe Price’s investment fund based in Chicago, and AOL founder Steve Case’s company, Revolution Ventures.
In Tempus, Eric Lefkofsky is creating an unique team of data scientists, technology experts, biologists, chemical engineers and oncologists, to provide the best precision oncology available. Though it is a technology startup, it is having a large impact on the health space. It is creating one of the largest libraries of clinical and molecular data. To oncologists, this is vital. It provides answers and interpretations of information in real time, allowing them to spend less time sifting through endless electronic health records and clinical trials.
It will also be incredibly beneficial for the patient. The company marries the personal with the data available at large by using genome sequencing to understand the patient, and the patient’s cancer, at a molecular level. This information is paired with the history of cancer patients. The clinical trials and information that is analyzed looks through the history of patients with similar molecular and biological structure to provide precision medicine. By seeing how other people with similar genetic and molecular profiles have responded to different treatments, the physicians will be able to understand the patient’s illness on a different level, allowing them to provide the best treatment available.
Currently the company has drawn a lot of interest and curiosity in the Chicago technology community as well as the medical industry. The company is currently partnered with more than half of the most prestigious academic medical centers as well as partnering with a significant number of oncologists.
This is forcing the company to grow quickly. Not only has the company nearly doubled its employee force to nearly 400 people, but it is quickly outgrowing its lab. Tempus is doubling its lab space and scaling the database. The partnership with the academic medical centers is a large key to its success because it provides the data. One of the issues competition faces is that they do not have access to the data from the hospitals.
Lefkofsky is showing the hospitals the benefit of organizing the data. By restructuring the data from electronic medical records and their varying systems, they are able to provide useful information immediately, instead of forcing physicians to sift through a mountain of information. They have created a platform to structure data while also building their library of molecular data, combining it all in one place.
Eric Lefkofsky is not new to the startup world. He began his entrepreneurial role after graduating law school from the University of Michigan Law school. He has co-founded a variety of companies like InnerWorkings, Mediabank, and Groupon. He is also dedicated to giving back through various philanthropic endeavors. He and his wife began the Lefkofsky Foundation to provide support to various educational and scientific causes around the world.