Tempus, one of Chicago’s top ten health techs and one of the city’s few firms who has acquired Unicorn Status in funding, is focused on revamping cancer care by ushering big data analytics into healthcare. While more and more physicians are ordering genomic sequencing for their patients, costs can be a hurdle. With that in mind, Tempus recently announced an initiative that will allow physicians to sequence a second patient sample without additional charge, removing a barrier that oftentimes stands in the way of a patient being sequenced.
The company now offers second rounds of sequencing to the same patients for those who are clinically sequenced via the xT platform given that the second sequencing assay is within an 18-month time frame since the initial sequencing took place. The Tempus xT panel, which analyzes 595 genes relevant to the diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic targeting of cancer. In addition to sequencing a cancer patient’s DNA and RNA, it will also sequence a matched normal blood or saliva sample. This will assist ordering clinicians in the assessment of which targeted therapies and/or clinical trials are most appropriate for the patients.
“Our goal at Tempus is to improve patient outcomes and one of the surest ways to do that is empowering researchers and physicians with data that can accelerate research and advance patient care,” said Eric Lefkofsky, founder, and CEO at Tempus. “After talking with oncologists across the country eager to usher in an era of precision medicine, we are committed to bringing technology and real-world evidence to the point of care, improving the lives of patients battling disease.”
Cancer’s heterogeneous, haphazard, multifaceted and unpredictable character requires a similar therapy approach. In other words, in order to effectively hit and eventually eliminate it, the right kind of treatment is one that is curated, rather than a one-size-fits-all. Add to that the fact that a patient’s response to treatment can change. Factors such as age, environment and tumor biology that affect therapy outcomes are dynamic and ever-changing, which is why physicians’ evaluations ought to be similar. Access to longitudinal data is crucial to a curated therapy approach.
“We believe the path to modern precision medicine is understanding patients’ clinical and molecular journey over time,” said Gary Palmer, Chief Medical Officer at Tempus. “Including a second sequencing result in the Tempus xT assay will give physicians better access to real-time data of a patient’s tumor biology and applicable treatment options. Through this approach, patients can benefit from the treatment of others who came before.”
In addition to Tempus xT, the sequencing platform of a targeted panel of 595 genes, Tempus’ other assays include Tempus xO, sequencing of an onco-seq panel of 1714 genes, Tempus xE, whole exome sequencing, and, coming soon is Tempus xF, a liquid biopsy sequencing platform.
Lefkofsky founded Tempus in 2015 with an aim to build the world’s largest library of molecular and clinical cancer data together with an operating system that warrants accessibility and usefulness of that data. At the heart of Tempus is an interactive and analytical machine learning platform. It continues to expand its collaborations with physicians and hospitals to deliver personalized cancer care. It has several collaborations with academic institutions as well as with most of the nation’s top cancer centers. Tempus provides doctors with access to a variety of sequencing capabilities with full transcriptome and tumor/normal match. These physicians have access to Tempus’ DNA/RNA genomic sequencing services and analysis of molecular and therapeutic data. As such, they are able to make real-time, data-driven decisions. The company’s goal is for each patient to benefit from the treatment of others who came before.
About Eric Lefkofsky
In addition to Tempus, Lefkofsky’s other entrepreneurial ventures include Lightbank, a venture fund that focuses its investments on disruptive technologies, Groupon, a global e-commerce marketplace, Uptake Technologies, an analytics platform for the world’s largest industries, Mediaocean, an integrated media procurement technologies provider, Echo Global Logistics, a technology-enabled transportation and logistics outsourcing firm and InnerWorkings, whose focus is on providing managed print and promotional solutions globally.
Lefkofsky is also a philanthropist. In terms of philanthropic engagements, he is the Trustee of the Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Science and Industry and World Business Chicago. He also serves as the Board of Trustees’ Chairman of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company. He and his wife Liz co-chair the Lefkofsky Family Foundation that supports high-impact initiatives that improve lives in the communities served. Since 2013, the two have also been part of the Giving Pledge. He is the author of Accelerated Disruption: Understanding the True Speed of Innovation, in which he discusses several critical startup concepts as well as business development evolving at the speed of the next technological innovation.
For more information on Eric Lefkofsky, please visit lefkofsky.com, LinkedIn: ericlefkofsky, Twitter: @lefkofsky or Facebook: @eplefkofsky. For more information on Tempus, please visit tempus.com, Facebook: @TempusLabs and Twitter: @TempusLabs.