The amount of Americans facing a cancer diagnosis continues to rise, and by the year 2014, 14.5 million people will have cancer. However, it is not all gloom and doom. Companies are continually looking for ways to beat this disease. One such company Tempus, which was co-founded by Eric Lefkolsky. Tempus is the forefront company in developing data-enabled precision medicine.
The need for better cancer treatments became real for Lefkolsky when his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was at that time when he realized that even though tons of data was constantly being gathered about each patient, it was not being streamlined in a way that was useful for creating a personalized treatment for the patient.
This is when Tempus was born with one important mission and that was to overhaul the way that cancer was being treated. Creating a platform that would analyze clinical and molecular data was the easy part, however, figuring out a cost-effective way to get the data was not. Another problem that Tempus faced was trying to decide how this delicate information was going to be stored. Soon, software was developed to take the data and structure it in a way that it could be used to battle cancer.
This work is important for a couple of reasons. It allows doctors to understand their patients on a molecular and cellular level, which results in better treatments, and hopefully to a cure. The second reason is cost. The more advances that independent companies make in things like data-enabled precision medicine, the lower the costs will be.
Eric Lefkofsky is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan Law School. However, he never became a lawyer. Instead, he dove into the dot-com revolution and surfaced as a major player.
He has taught at several colleges and is currently on the faculty of the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. He serves on several boards. He spends most of his time in Chicago, which is were Tempus is located.