Eric Lefkofsky’s Tempus Continues War on Cancer With New Funding

Around the United States the race to better patient care continues to push forward. Every day hospitals and doctors search for the solution to disease and ever growing medical expenses. While the cure for cancer may still not be quite in our grasp there are those heroes who continue to research and push for a future without deadly consequence to both our health and our pocketbooks. Co-Founder of Groupon, Erik Lefkofsky, is working to prove not only can he find shoppers the best deals but he can also provide patient’s the best care.

Founded in 2015, Erik Lefkofsky’s Chicago-based company Tempus aims to improve patient quality of care by analyzing previous patient data by looking for patterns that can provide clues towards what treatments best impact patient care. Using studies of patient’s genomes they can harness raw data to determine what treatments provide the best results. Combining this cutting edge technology and analytics allows doctors to expand upon their medical experience with statistical trends. Armed with the shared data from patients and doctors from around the country physicians can make quicker data-driven decisions.

To contribute towards their initiative Tempus has gained $80 million in additional funding this year. This brings their total value close to $1.1 billion, making it one of the fastest, most valuable start-ups in Chicago.

In addition to Erik Lefkofsky’s active forays into disruptive technology to benefit community health initiatives he also is an active advocate for his own community in Chicago. Lefkofsky created the Lefkofsky Family Foundation which focuses on improving education, health and human rights.

Beyond the reach of Tempus’ research into improving cancer patient’s care and the Lefkofsky Family Foundation Erik Lefkofsky also is helping to build up his Chicago community via the expansion of Tempus. With the additional funding received Tempus plans to expand further and is hiring has plans to continue hiring. This growing company will bring together hospitals, drug companies, and patient care teams to work toward better patient outcomes. This combination of genuine concern for community and patients combined with rigorous research will assuredly help the Chicago community and beyond.

Erik Lefkofsky’s info:

Tempus CEO and Co-Founder, Eric Lefkofsky, Will Improve Cancer Treatment With Tempus’ Technology

Today, Eric Lefkofsky is an entrepreneur with a technology background and very successful career as an entrepreneur. He is also an avid philanthropist and is motivated to help others and give back to the community. His latest company will help him achieve just that by aiding cancer patients with better treatments through his Tempus technology. Eric Lefkofsky co-founded Tempus Brad Keywell, a longtime friend, and colleague of Eric’s. To date, Eric has many successful business ventures, including Echo Global, InnerWorkings, and Groupon, all of which have contributed to his massive fortune.

The biggest challenges for Eric and Tempus when it comes to improving cancer treatments is the organization of massive amounts of raw clinical data. Tempus will be using the latest technology in analytics and learning software to create algorithms for sorting all of the genomic and molecular data that Tempus accumulates. Once organized, the data collected by Tempus will directly accessible to physicians and doctors around the world who can then utilize the data to provide their patients with better cancer treatment. Another aspect of Tempus is the RNA and DNA sequencing of compiled data from different locations.

The profound effect Tempus could have on the healthcare industry is tremendous, and the large amounts of data collected so far is a testament to that. Most of the database in place are unstructured and contained within databases that cannot transfer data in the same patterns. WIth many small and isolated databases that cannot organize their information together, overall usefulness of such data becomes limited. Eric Lefkofsky aims to fix this problem with Tempus as a database that holds all information and sorts it to be readily used through sophisticated software.

Cancer is a very serious disease because it is so complex and varied, making it hard to treat. Some patients respond well to certain treatments, while others do not. Some patients even respond very negatively to certain treatments. Eric knew a better system was possible with his background in technology, which is why he co-founded Tempus in the first place. Helping patients receive better treatment more personalized to their needs will increase treatment effectiveness for many people.

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What is Oncotarget?

Ontotarget is an online database that features bio-medical journals that are peer-reviewed at least twice weekly. The Chief editors, Mikhail Blagosklonny and Andrei V. Gudkov have monitored the site since 2010. Scientists or ordinary viewers can enjoy a variety of articles that focus on sub-topics of Oncology including aging, Microbiology, Virology, Immunology and more.

Working towards Better Cancer Treatment

Based on new research published by Oncotarget, there’s a small protein modification that stimulates migratory and invasive properties of prostate cancer cells. This new finding helps scientists understand the movement of the cancer cells from on area to another and can lead to the development of more effective therapies. Listen to an audio podcast of Oncotarget on Itunes.


Metastatic tumors stem from individuals breaking free from a tumor and traveling to an unwanted location. These can further develop into secondary tumors. The prostate cancer cells mentioned in the study mainly travels through epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) activated by growth factor known as TGFB (transforming growth factor beta). However, unwanted proteins such as Snail1 gets activated in the process, creating complications in the body. Listen to Oncotarget podcast on Player.FM.

Research Findings

Researchers from two Swedish Universities were able to determine the following information about the role and modification of Snail1:

– Sumoylation, the process of modifying the amino acids (building blocks) of Snail1, can reduce its effects and make cancer cells more invasive.

– Snail1 induces TGFB signaling and EMT in prostate cancer.

– In patients with prostate cancer, they have elevated levels of Snail1.

Although it is uncertain whether Snail1 is the main cause of prostate cancer, sumoylating the protein can combat the cancer and possibly breast cancer tumors.

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Understanding More About Clay Siegall

His years of experience in the specialization of cancer therapies date back to 1988 when he joined the National Cancer Institute and the National Institutes of Health until 1991. He later spent six years at the Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute before he left to start the Seattle Genetics. Clay B. Siegall, Ph.D., is the CEO and Chairman of the Board. Seattle Genetics is an organization whose foundation is based on scientific innovation, arduous research, best drug development practices, and a passionate urge to help others.


The death of Dr. Siegall’s father with cancer inspired him to utilize the basic tools available to oncologists in finding better ways of helping cancer patients. After pursuing a doctorate at George Washington University and earning enough experience in three institutes that natured his passion for cancer therapy, he was well prepared to launch the Seattle Genetics Company. For over thirty years, he has been waking up daily excited and passionate about going around helping cancer patients.


Under the innovative leadership of Dr. Siegall, the FDA approved a collaborative effort by Takeda Pharmaceutical Company and Seattle Genetics for developing Antibody-Drug Conjugates (ADCs) in 2011 named ADCETRIS® (brentuximab vedotin). The drug has become an international brand. Seattle Genetics has made several advancements in creating ADCs that have proved vital in the fight against cancer.


Under his guidance, the organization has partnered with Genentech, AbbVie, and GlaxoSmithKline among other licenses in generating $300 million. Several ADCs are still utilizing the Seattle Genetics’ technology to experiment on other clinical developments. Through the Initial Public Offer (IPO) of 2001 and public financing, Dr. Siegall has enabled the organization to secure a capital of about $1.2 billion.


He is a member of the board of directors of various organizations such as the Ultragenyx Pharmaceutical, Alder BioPharmaceuticals, and the Washington Roundtable. He has also received various awards during his practice like the 2013 University of Maryland Alumnus of the Year for Computer and the 2012 Pacific Northwest Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year. His skills have made a great impact in generating 15 patents and publishing 70 research reports.