Erik Lefkofsky is the CEO of Tempus, a technology company building cancer fighting operating systems. He is also the founder of Lightbank Venture Capital firm, the cofounder of Groupon, a discounted global marketplace and the cofounder of Uptake Technologies, a predictive analyses platform for large industry. Lefkofsky began leading his first business, an apparel company in 1994. He has since been at the head of several big businesses, many of them quite successful.He co-chairs the Lefkofsky Family Foundation with his spouse, Liz. Together they work to support scientific and educational causes worldwide. Their areas of focus include awarding quarterly grants to causes that promote human rights, education, arts and culture and medical research.
Lefkofsky’s company, Tempus is building a database of patient information that focuses on fine-tuning cancer treatment by combining genomic idata with the therapeutic. In order to create effective treatments for cancer patients, information that includes their DNA and RNA combined with the medications they are taking should be readily available to all parties contributing to their care.Lefkofsky’s belief is that cancer care’s current foundation is broken. His solution to the problem is to start by being thorough and sharing more information between parties associated with cancer treatment. His interview with Fortune magazine clearly outlines his approach. Eric Lefkofsky believes cancer care givers should treat the problem differently, by asking, “Who is this patient? What drugs are they taking? How are they responding?
What’s their molecular composition? If you have all that data you can begin to answer some very basic questions, like why is this drug only working for 60% of people and not the other 40? Who are the other 40? What medication are they also on? What’s their age? Are they diabetic? What’s their RN expression profile look like? And that’s the kind of data that should be flowing freely between clinicians and researchers, but also insurance companies, biotech companies…”Essentially, Lefkofsky believes cancer can be conquered if there is more communication between all the parties that treat it, which is why Tempus’s cancer fighting operating system was created. It allows all the data to be presented as a comprehensive patient profile to all the parties working to cure the disease. In time, this new approach may help scientist cure cancer a lot faster.