Eric Lefkofsky Partners with Northwestern to Help Cure Cancer

When Eric Lefkofsky left Groupon as CEO last November, the public waited and watched to see what the coupon company founder would do next. While at Groupon, he co-founded the data science firm Uptake with Brad Keywell. It turns out, Lefkofsky stuck with science with his new endeavor, Tempus.

Tempus takes a new turn for Lefkofsky’s launches, as it targets data use to develop and provide customized cancer treatments. He partnered with Northweatern University on the health-tech startup’s product, genomic sequencing that helps doctors make real-time treatment decisions for cancer patients, according to Chicago Inno.

Tempus researches with the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center of Northwestern University to develop a “precision medicine” product as part of the Center’s OncoSET initiative. It combines genomic sequencing and molecular analysis with pathology to develop tailored treatments for each patient. Tempus’ part is the data gathering using a machine learning platform.

“We have built a platform to modernize cancer care by merging powerful analytics with cutting edge bioinformatics to empower physicians to make data-driven decisions tailored to each patient,” Lefkofsky said in a press release.

Lefkofsky explained that doctors need molecular data on each patient to better treat and determine how experimental treatments used in clinical trials are affecting the patient. He cited the emergence of immunotherapies as a particulary important aspect contributing to the need for such minute data.

The success of his Uptake venture, now valued at $1.1 billion, returned the entrepreneur to the Forbes 400 list in 2016 with a net worth of $1.8 billion. He ranks 374th in the nation. He shows his gratitude by donating to various causes, for instance, donating $1 million to the Center he now partners with last November.

He also co-founded and serves as managing director of Lightbank. His interest in science endeavors won’t surprise those who have read his book “Accelerated Disruption: Understanding the True Speed of Innovation.” Lefkofsky also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Chicago. The diverse entrepreneur received his Bachelor degree from the University of Michigan and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School.

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