In 2012, Eric Lefkofsky, one of Chicago’s most prominent entrepreneurs, founded Tempus, a technology company that focuses on collection and analysis of large volumes of molecular and clinical data as means to enable physicians to offer personalized cancer care. In addition to the numerous collaborations that Tempus had already established in the past few years with a number of academic institutions as well as the nation’s top cancer care centers, it recently announced an alliance with NYU School of Medicine. The aim of this collaboration is the advancement of outcomes for patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
The third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, pancreatic cancer typically spreads rapidly to nearby organs, and it is rarely detected in its early stages. As such, it has a five-year survival rate of just nine percent. And while some personalized treatments have successfully improved outcomes of other cancer types, the genetic mutations commonly associated with pancreatic cancer are still lacking targets for which drugs have been developed. One of the biggest issues with pancreatic cancer, however, is the inconsistency in treatment success. In other words, patients with similar diagnosis often have different outcomes – and this holds true even when they are treated with identical therapies. This highlights the importance of data – collection of molecular and clinical information for pancreatic cancer patients will enable researchers to tease out patterns that point to progress, diagnosis, targetability as well as side effects of the treatment.
The research collaboration will be a cooperation between Tempus and Diane M. Simeone, MD, a world-renowned investigator and the associate director for translational research at NYU Langone Health’s Perlmutter Cancer Center and head of the center’s newly formed Pancreatic Cancer Center at NYU Langone.
Dr. Simeone is optimistic about the collaboration. “Our partnership with Tempus allows us to incorporate breakthroughs in genomics and technology to drive discoveries that have real impact on patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer,” said Dr. Simeone.
As part of the collaboration, Tempus will both structure and analyze data from 500 pancreatic cancer patients that NYU Langone has collected. The hope is that this will enable cancer specialists to tease out patterns that will in turn help predict patients’ treatment responses.
“Generating and analyzing the data may provide evidence for alternative treatment choices where patients have seen little benefit with the current standard of care,” said Eric Lefkofsky, founder and CEO at Tempus. “It is likely that a combined analysis of the genomic and phenotypic patterns of pancreatic cancer will lead to the next big breakthroughs in this difficult to treat cancer.”
The Perlmutter Cancer Center is one of only 48 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the Nation and one of Tempus’ several collaborations with such institutions that aim to advance outcomes and outlooks for patients with this complicated and challenging disease.
About Eric Lefkofsky
His other ventures include Groupon, a global e-commerce marketplace, Uptake Technologies, a leading predictive analytics platform for the world’s largest industries, Mediaocean, a provider of integrated media procurement technology, Echo Global Logistics, a technology-enabled transportation and logistics outsourcing firm, and InnerWorkings, a global provider of managed print and promotional solutions. Lefkofsky is also a philanthropist. He and his wife Liz co-founded the Lefkofsky Family Foundation that is primarily focused on the advancement of education, fundamental human rights, medicine, art and culture initiatives. The two are also members of The Giving Pledge. Lefkofsky’s other philanthropic involvements include being the board of trustees of the Lurie’s Children’s Hospital of Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Science and Industry and World Business Chicago. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Steppenwolf Theatre Company that is based in Chicago. For more information, please visit lefkofsky.com, LinkedIn: ericlefkofsky, Twitter: @lefkofsky or Facebook: @eplefkofsky.
One of Chicago’s top ten health tech startups, Tempus is a technology company focused on building the world’s largest library of molecular and clinical data. It works on combining the vast amounts of data with an operating system so that the data is both accessible and useful. Tempus has built an interactive analytical and machine learning platform whereby it enables physicians to provide their patients with personalized cancer care by having access to patients’ genetic and molecular data. The company provides services such as genomic sequencing and analysis of molecular and therapeutic data which helps physicians to make real-time, data-driven treatment decisions. The goal is for each patient to benefit from the treatment of others who came before them. It is currently collaborating with a number of NCI designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers. For more information on Tempus, please visit tempus.com, Facebook: @TempusLabs and Twitter: @TempusLabs.
About New York University Langone Health
The NYU Langone Health campus is located in the heart of Manhattan, and it is composed of five hospitals—Tisch Hospital, its flagship acute care facility; Rusk Rehabilitation; the Hospital for Joint Diseases, the Medical Center’s dedicated inpatient orthopedic hospital; NYU Langone Hospital – Brooklyn, a full-service, 450-bed teaching hospital located in Brooklyn, and Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital, a comprehensive pediatric hospital supporting a full array of children’s health services across the organization. Langone is one of the nation’s top centers for excellence in clinical care, biomedical research and medical education. Also part of NYU Langone Health is NYU School of Medicine that is known for its impactful history. Since 1841, it has trained thousands of physicians and scientists who have played important roles in shaping the course of medical history. Also part of Langone is the Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute–designated cancer center. NYU Langone Health prides itself on its trifold mission to serve, teach, and discover. It aims to achieve that every day of the year through the seamless integration of a culture devoted to excellence in patient care, education, and research. For more information on NYU Langone, please visit https://nyulangone.org/.