Eric Lefkofsky

Eric Lefkofsky Brings Major Cancer Hope

At the age of 47, Eric Lefkofsky, one of Chicago’s most successful tech founders and business serial entrepreneurs, had no plans to start another company. Forbes reported that he already has a net worth of $1.7 billion, and now, because his wife had been diagnosed with breast cancer, he is willing to put hundreds of millions of his personal money into his new company, Tempus, so that it can remain self-funded and have that as an advantage over competitors who must rely on outside funding.

Eric, as CEO as well as founder, believes that Tempus will be the biggest company he has ever built, and, even more important, the most meaningful. Eric Lefkofsky believes that Tempus is at the frontline of a technology paradigm shift in healthcare by taking an approach to cancer treatment that is data-driven. It uses genomic sequencing and machine learning to understand a patient’s tumor and then proceeds to tailor a treatment plan best suited to combat it.

The mission of Tempus is to look inside the human body and create a molecular clinical library of information about the patient, look at the molecular composition, and then use that data to guide the care, usher in precision medicine, and help doctors to make the right decisions. A centralized database provides physicians with a report on previous cancer patients, finds ones that have similar clinical and molecular profiles as the current patients, and finds treatment options that are most likely to be effective.

Several physicians executive team supply the needed medical expertise, and the startup has grown to more than 150 employees, many of which are data scientists, with three to five new ones being added every week.

Measuring the success of Tempus may take as much as years to determine if the treatment options based on its data have helped save lives. However, the company has already been shown important favor from many of the top-rated cancer clinics, and Lefkofsky is perfectly willing to bet that much major money to prove that Tempus will become his most successful company ever.

He feels that it is time to put technology and big data to use to personalize cancer treatment and give physicians, patients and their families the fighting chance that they deserve.

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