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In Fortune’s article “This Is What’s Missing in the Data Centric Approach to Cancer”, Barb Darrow discusses Erik Lefkofsky’s new venture.

Erik Lefkofsky is the co-founder and CEO Tempus. The startup was created to develop cancer databases to change cancer treatment into a combination of clinical data and molecular data.

He attended Fortune’s Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego where he discussed what’s missing from the current medical research system. Part of the problem today is that the researchers don’t have easy access to the data. For example, Lefkofsky states that “if you were to go into any of the cancer centers and ask who took Herceptin over two years and how they did, they’d need a grant and at least 90 days.”

Lefkosky started Tempus as a way to ameliorate the situation. Not only does it add technology to the existing electronic medical record, but it gathers the information and provides a unique approach to treatment. By creating a large aggregate data pool, the data for each individual can be used to discover patterns similarities between the results and the treatment.

The realization that drastic systematic change to cancer treatment was vital occurred after his wife was diagnosed with cancer. The constant trips to various doctors and specialists proved to be a disappointment when he realized that they simply didn’t have the data to interpret how the different treatments work for patients with similar molecular biology.

In addition to starting Tempus, Mr. Lefkofsky is also a co-founder of Groupon one of the largest global e-commerce marketplaces. He was a founding partner of Lightbank, a venture fund which invests in technology, and Uptake which is a leading analytics platform for some of the world’s most considerable industries.

Mr. Lefkosky and his wife are philanthropists who are dedicated to improving education, health care, human rights and the development of the arts. He founded Lefkosky Family Foundation with his wife in 2006 to improve high-impact programs that can drastically improve quality of life.

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