Eric Lefkofsky is a serial entrepreneur whose most recent startup, Tempus, holds the promise of vastly improving treatment for people with cancer, according to a recent article in Tech News Spy.
In 2014, 14.5 million Americans lived with cancer, according to an estimate of the National Cancer Institute. By 2024, estimates expect to rise to 19 million. At the disease’s current rates, 40% of Americans will eventually get it.
A few years ago, Eric Lefkofsky’s wife received a diagnosis of breast cancer. That’s when he learned modern medicine, despite many advances in research and in using technology to keep medical records, still did not effectively use digital technology to collect and store data on disease.
Doctors and medical treatment facilities create large amounts of data on cancer patients, but not in a form that is easily accessible so that it can be used to study the effectiveness of disease. For example, much important information about each patient is buried in freeform text fields in the physician notes or progress notes.
Determined to change that, Lefkofsky co founded Tempus to create a platform to record and store information in a standard format and database.
One increasingly important type of patient information is genomic, the sequencing of their unique DNA. Since 2003, the price of gene sequencing has fallen from $300 million to $5,000. And increased demand will continue to drive it down. Modern cancer medicine believes the key to defeating cancer lies in chemotherapy that is configured to suit each patient’s cancer’s genomic structure. The precision medicine enabled by Tempus will allow doctors to fight every cancer based on data. Doctors will be able to access this information so they can prescribe individualized treatments for each patient.
Eric Lefkofsky graduated from University of Michigan Law School in 1993, but has avoided practicing as a lawyer. After he completed law school, he and a friend started Brandon Apparel. By 1999, he and his friend joined the early Internet fervor, founding Starbelly to learn more: https://www.insidephilanthropy.com/guide-to-individual-donors/eric-lefkofsky.html click here.
Lefkofsky went on to many other ventures, including Lightbank, InnerWorkings, Echo Global Logistics and MediaBank. His most well-known venture, however, is Groupon, where he is still Chairman.