Addison Duling

Eric Lefkofsky Turns His Talents to Fighting Cancer

Recently Eric Lefkofsky, one of the co-founders of Groupon, had a personal experience that has motivated him to start another company dedicated to providing data to doctors who are fighting the battle against cancer. After his wife received a diagnosed for breast cancer, he soon realized that data regarding this disease was not readily available. Mr. Eric stated it seemed to him that many times truck drivers had more data available about how to do their jobs than was available to oncologists.

The new startup is Tempus and Eric is the CEO. There is lots of data out there; the problem is doctors need data about several things, Tempus is going to combine data about both genomic information with therapeutic data. Eric notes, gathering molecular data is fine, but the physician also has to have clinical data, as well as therapeutic and outcome response data. Besides knowing about a patient’s DNA and RNA makeup, clinicians should have information about what treatments the patient is on and how well they are responding to current treatment.

As an example, Eric explains, when a researcher is studying a group of breast cancer patients taking Herceptin, why are some of the group experiencing a much higher success rate than others. Questions like, are they diabetics? Or what other medications are they taking? Rather than spend months and a lot of money responding to these issues Tempus is designed to provide this information between researchers, physicians, and others quickly. This data is used to develop a treatment plan for each patient that will lead to better results.

Eric Lefkofsky is perhaps best known as the co-founder of Groupon, but he has also launched several other highly successful companies. Eric is a founding partner in Lightbank, a fund investing in disruptive technologies, Echo Global Logistics, transportation, and logistics outsourcing firm, and InnerWorkings, a worldwide provider of print and promotional solutions, to mention only a few.

Eric studied at the University of Michigan; he received a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School. Besides his well-known business accomplishments, Eric Lefkofsky is very involved in initiatives that better the lives of people living in the communities served. In 2006 Eric and his wife Liz founded the Lefkofsky Family Foundation, he is a trustee on several organizations that serve the Chicago area, including The Museum of Science and Industry.

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