Eric Lefkofsky Ushers Tempus to Unicorn Status

Chicago-based cancer data-analytics Startup, Tempus, reached the coveted “unicorn” status in March of this year after securing an additional $80 million in funding from both new and existing donors. Startups valued at over $1 billion achieve this status. Since the company’s launch in 2015, Tempus’ worth is estimated to be at an approximate $1.1 billion. This distinction is not held by many other Chicagoland startups. After this latest funding round, Tempus has raised a total of $210 million.

Led by entrepreneur and co-founder, Eric Lefkofsky, Tempus has previously cemented its current position as one of Chicago’s top ten health techs. The company’s focus is to utilize big data to streamline cancer treatment and create a repository of all patient data, both molecular and clinical. This allows other physicians to search the database and garner a better understanding of how individuals with comparable genetic profiles have responded to specific treatments.

Tempus collaborates with all sectors of the health care system, including medical professionals and drug companies. They have partnered with approximately 50 leading research hospitals, including Chicago’s Rush University, Northwestern and University of Chicago. Tempus has also joined forces with multiple National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers. Oncologists at those institutions routinely refer their patients to Tempus to undergo genomic sequencing to better personalize care.

Lefkofsky has said, “Tempus was born out of frustration with a health care system that too often let powerful data and real-world evidence go to waste. Given the breadth and scale of our current data set, we’re in a unique position to help usher in an era of precision medicine to support patients battling disease.” According to a company spokesperson, Tempus is expected to “touch 25 to 30 percent of cancer patients this year,” and is also eyeing diseases beyond cancer.