Eric Lefkofsky’s latest venture in the medical technology space, Tempus Labs, has grown quickly in the past two years since it was founded. The company quickly gained attention in the Chicago technology sector as well as the health industry.
In two years, Tempus has become a unicorn in the investment world. It has raised more than $210 million in funding over the past 18 months. The recent $80 million invested by companies like Kinship Trust, an investment fund based in Chicago and led by T. Rowe Price, pushed it to the “unicorn” status. The company has been valued at around $1.1 billion dollars and has been invested in by companies like Revolution Ventures, which is Steve Case’s investment fund, and New Enterprise Associates.
With this new company, Eric Lefkofsky seeks to pair medical data with technology to provide more structured information to oncologists. The cancer data-analytics start-up has created one of the largest libraries of molecular and clinical data in the world. By doing so, they hope to give time back to the doctors, helping sift through the information so they can spend more time helping their patients.
They use clinical data pulled from electronic health records and clinical trials to stay up-to-date on the latest treatment plans available. However, their insight to pair it with molecular data is what creates the precision medicine and the greatest benefit to patients. They use genome sequencing to understand the patient’s tumor on a molecular level. By doing so, they can compare the cancer to other previous patients who have similar biological structures to provide the treatment most likely to work for their body.
The company is able to gather the clinical data through their partnership with academic medical centers like university of Michigan, University of Chicago Medicine, Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center, etc. By building a team of data scientists, biologists, chemical engineers, and mathematicians, the company is able to sift through the information available and restructure it to provide real time analyses to oncologists.
The company has grown quickly since its founding. It has grown to nearly 400 employees, partnering with leading universities and oncology hospitals. They have also outgrown their lab space and will soon be moving to a lab that is nearly double in size. As their database is growing, they are creating a system to make the clinical and molecular information both accessible to oncologists but also useful.
Lefkofsky has experience in leading tech startups into the world successfully. His previous companies include Groupon, InnerWorkings, MediaBank, and Lightbank.
He is also dedicated to giving back and helping people beyond the medical world. He is focused on helping his community in Chicago. He is on the board of directors at the Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital. He is also a trustee of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company and is on the board of directors for both the Museum of Science and Industry and the Art Institute of Chicago. He and his wife created the Lefkofsky Foundation to help educational and other causes for children around the world.