Embarked in a venture that may propel medical technology to new heights, Eric Lefkofsky has launched a new company called Tempus. Tempus will help not only help prolong cancer patients’ lives but may also actually cure their cancer.Tempus is building an extensive database that stores the genetic cancer information that doctors already have on their patients and has already received collaboration from many famous hospitals. Doctors will access the database information in search of genetic information similar to their patients using software provided by Tempus. They will use that comparison to better understand their patient’s tumors and then customize treatment using past successful therapies. Through Tempus’s database analysis, doctors can give more precise dosages and medications to their patients by studying how and why someone contracts or fights a disease.
The decrease in the cost of genetic screening and storage makes this venture possible and gives Tempus an advantage over other companies researching cancer treatments. In 2004, it cost $100 million to sequence a genome. Today the cost is $5,000 with estimates of a cost of a few hundred dollars in the future. Eric is currently concentrating on pancreatic, lung and breast cancers but will include other cancer types in the future. All gene-sequencing tests will be performed in Tempus’s 20,000 square foot laboratory.Tempus is not Eric Lefkofsky’s first venture. His other public ventures include InnerWorkings, Echo Global Logistics, Lightbank, Uptake Technologies, Mediaocean, and Groupon. These businesses were successful earning Eric $1.79 billion throughout his careers. Groupon is probably the most recognized of his ventures where he still serves as chairman.
The Lefkofsky Family Foundation, formed by Eric and his wife, Liz, has donated millions in cancer research efforts including $1 million to Northwester University Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer, $500,000 to Stanford University, $1.2 million to University of Michigan, and $250,000 to Weill Cornell Medicine. After obtaining a The Giving Pledge membership, the couple pledged to give half of their life’s earnings to philanthropy.