Founder: Eric Lefkofsky (CEO)
Funding: $620 million
Valuation: $5 billion
Key technologies: AI, machine learning
Industry: Health care
Previous appearances on Disruptor 50 List: 0
What does genomic-sequencing company Tempus have in common with coupon site Groupon? Eric Lefkofsky. Serial entrepreneur Lefkofsky co-founded Groupon in 2008 and took it public in 2011. He's moving at a similar pace with his newest start-up, Tempus. The Chicago-based firm, started in 2015 after Lefkofsky's wife was diagnosed with breast cancer, has already raised $620 million in financing, giving it a $5 billion valuation. The investors in the latest round include Baillie Gifford, Franklin Templeton, NEA and T. Rowe Price.
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The company uses artificial intelligence, machine learning and next-generation sequencing to collect, structure and analyze the clinical data that's found in electronic medical records to provide physicians with more accurate information and better options for patients. For instance, of the 1.8 million people diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. last year, only 3% will enroll in a clinical trial because they either don't know about them or don't have access. To combat this, Tempus launched the TIME Trial program. Its aim is to increase clinical trial participation by using real-time clinical and molecular data to match patients to trials and then rapidly open prequalified sites once a patient has been identified. The goal, says Lefkofsky, is to create customized treatments for each patient.
Tempus started in oncology and now works with over 5,000 oncologists, 80% of all academic medical centers, and hundreds of hospital systems. In March the company secured an additional $100 million in financing, partly in response to the pandemic. It launched a large-scale research initiative in an effort to aggregate real-world data for 50,000 Covid-19 positive patients to uncover best treatment practices. It has a little over 700 employees. The company has talked about expanding into other chronic conditions, such as depression and diabetes.