Billionaire Eric Lefkofsky’s Tempus Raises $200 Million To Bring Personalized Medicine To New Diseases

On the surface, Eric Lefkofsky’s Tempus sounds much like every other AI-powered personalized medicine company. “We try to infuse as much data and technology as we can into the diagnosis itself,” Lefkofsky says, which could be said by the founder of any number of new healthcare companies.. But what makes Tempus different is that it is quickly branching out, moving from a focus on cancer to additional programs including mental health, infectious diseases, cardiology and soon diabetes. “We’re focused on those disease areas that are the most deadly,” Lefkofsky says. 

Now, the billionaire founder has an additional $200 million to reach that goal. The Chicago-based company announced the series G-2 round on Thursday, which includes a massive valuation of $8.1 billion. Lefkofsky, the founder of multiple companies including Groupon, also saw his net worth rise from the financing, from an estimated $3.2 billion to an estimated $4.2 billion.

Tempus is “trying to disrupt a very large industry that is very complex,” Lefkofsky says, “we’ve known it was going to cost a lot of money to see our business model to fruition.” 

In addition to investors Baillie Gifford, Franklin Templeton, Novo Holdings, and funds managed by T. Rowe Price, Lefkofsky, who has invested about $100 million of his own money into the company since inception, also contributed an undisclosed amount to the round. Google also participated as an investor, and Tempus says it will now store its deidentified patient data on Google Cloud. 

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“We are particularly attracted to companies that aim to solve fundamental and complex challenges within life sciences,” says Robert Ghenchev, a senior partner at Novo Holdings. “Tempus is, in many respects, the poster child for the kind of companies we like to support.” 

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Tempus, founded by Lefkofsky in 2015, is one of a new breed of personalized cancer diagnostic companies like Foundation Medicine and Guardant Health. The company’s main source of revenue comes from sequencing the genome of cancer patients’ tumors in order to help doctors decide which treatments would be most effective. “We generate a lot of molecular data about you as a patient,” Lefkofsky says. He estimates that Tempus has the data of about 1 in 3 cancer patients in the United States. 

But billing insurance companies for sequencing isn’t the only way the company makes money. Tempus also offers a service that matches eligible patients to clinical trials, and it licenses  de-identified patient data to other players in the oncology industry. That patient data, which includes images and clinical information, is “super important and valuable,” says Lefkofsky, who adds that such data sharing only occurs if patients consent. 

At first glance, precision oncology seems like a crowded market, but analysts say there is still plenty of room for companies to grow. “We’re just getting started in this market,” says Puneet Souda, a senior research analyst at SVB Leerink, “[and] what comes next is even larger.” Souda estimates that as the personalized oncology market expands from diagnostics to screening, another $30 billion or more will be available for companies to snatch up. And Tempus is already thinking ahead by moving into new therapeutic areas. 

While it’s not leaving cancer behind, Tempus has branched into other areas of precision medicine over the last year, including cardiology and mental health. The company now offers a service for psychiatrists to use a patient’s genetic information to determine the best treatments for major depressive disorder. 

In May, Lefkofsky also pushed the company to use its expertise to fight the coronavirus pandemic. The company now offers PCR tests for Covid-19, and has run over 1 million so far. The company also sequences other respiratory pathogens, such as the flu and soon pneumonia. As with cancer, Tempus will continue to make patient data accessible for others in the field— for a price. “Because we have one of the largest repositories of data in the world,” says Lefkofsky, “[it is imperative] that we make it available to anyone.” 

Lefkofsky plans to use capital from the latest funding round to continue Tempus’ expansion and grow its team. The company has hired about 700 since the start of the pandemic, he says, and currently has about 1,800 employees. He wouldn’t comment on exact figures, but while the company is not yet profitable he says Tempus has reached “significant scale in terms of revenue.” 

And why is he so sure that his company’s massive valuation isn’t over-inflated? “We benefit from two really exciting financial sector trends,” he says: complex genomic profiling and AI-driven health data. Right now, Lefkofsky estimates, about one-third of cancer patients have their tumors sequenced in three years. Soon, he says, that number will increase to two-thirds of patients getting their tumors sequenced multiple times a year. “The space itself is very exciting,” he says, “we think it will grow dramatically.” Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip

Leah Rosenbaum

Leah Rosenbaum

I am the assistant editor of healthcare and science at Forbes. I graduated from UC Berkeley with a Master’s of Journalism and a Master’s of Public Health, with a specialty in infectious disease. Before that, I was at Johns Hopkins University where I double-majored in writing and public health. I’ve written articles for STAT, Vice, Science News, HealthNewsReview and other publications. At Forbes, I cover all aspects of health, from disease outbreaks to biotech startups.

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Eric Lefkofsky

To impact the nearly 1.7 million Americans who will be newly diagnosed with cancer this year, Eric Lefkofsky, co-founder and CEO of Tempus, discusses with Matter CEO Steven Collens how he is applying his disruptive-technology expertise to create an operating system to battle cancer. (November 29, 2016)

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The Top Ride On Trains On The Market – Family Hype

The train has been a staple child’s toy for many years. When you think of a toy train, you tend to think about a small train set where the train goes about its journey, be it hand or battery powered. These trains are very small, usually too small for even your pet to catch a ride on.

Source: flickr.com

However, another type of train that kids, especially toddlers and younger children love is the ride-on train. With these, your little boy or girl can be the conductor as they take themselves on a one way ticket to fun. There are plenty of ride-on trains in the market. Which ones are the best? Let’s find out.

What To Look For In A Ride On Train

Tracks Or No Tracks?

There are some ride on trains that have their own tracks. These tracks can be built and your child can ride on them. Some trains don’t have tracks, and are just train-shaped carts they can ride on. Who needs tracks? Some kids will like the creativity that comes with building and riding on tracks, while others may like a train where they can ride everywhere that has a solid surface.  Some trains have the option for both. This may be good for a growing child. At first, a set track would be the safest, and as they grow, they can drive around outside the tracks.

Battery or No Battery?

Some trains are battery operated. They move on their own, with gear and braking systems. Then there are those that are powered by pushing or feet. Obviously, the battery powered means that it will be more expensive and can break down more, but it can be more fun. Of course, your budget matters at the end of the day.

Source: maxpixel.net

Design

Does your kid want a train shaped like their favorite character, like Thomas the Tank Engine, or do they want a more realistic train? This can determine which train you buy. Some trains are cheaper and made from plastic, while others will have a steel look that you will love too.

Now, let’s look at some trains.

National 6V Talking

This is a train that can do a lot. It has a 19-foot track and can go up to a mile an hour. It’s not exactly a train that can take you across the country, but for a young child with an imagination, it might as well be. It makes noises too, just like a real train. Your child can shift it forwards or reverse, it has a braking system that activates automatically, and it’s an all-around decent buy. With that said, it does have some durability issues, so if your kid is a roughhouser, you may want to look elsewhere.

Step2 Up & Down Coaster

Step2 is always a good name when it comes to toys for tots. This coaster has the face of Thomas the Tank Engine. Thomas is a character who is beloved by generations of children. Odds are, you may have liked him when you were a kid.

It has a little ramp your kid can use, but it’s not as complex as the other ones. It’s great for young children, as its nonslip steps, handrails, and other safety features ensure a safe and fun ride, but it lacks features that older kids may want.

Source: flickr.com (Rizu14)

Kiddieland Minnie

Minnie Mouse is a great character for your little girl (or boy.) This is a plastic train that has its own track. It has music and sounds you may recognize and its caboose can fit the rest of the toy, making it great for travel. With that said, the toy is very slow, so it’s another one that’s great for little toddlers, but bigger kids may want more.

Morgan Cycle Santa Fe

This is a great steel train that is built for durability. It has a padded seat that’s comfortable, safe, and can be detached to clean. That’s always a plus, isn’t it? It’s non-electric, colorful, and quite fun to steer. It’s great if you want a toddler-powered train that can last, though some kids may want an electric one.

Source: flickr.com (Jason Mrachina)

Rollplay Steam

This is a quite advanced ride-on train. It makes real steam, allowing your kid to think they are really riding on a train. It’s battery powered and rechargeable and a full battery can have two hours of adventuring. Overall, it’s a great train with many uses, and we recommend trying it out. Oh yeah, and it has working headlights, so you may see your kid on it when you think they’re sleeping! All aboard.

Power Wheels Thomas & Friends

Again, who doesn’t love Thomas? This toy will make your child think they are really riding everyone’s favorite blue train. This toy can move forward, steer around, and stop. It comes with a track, and it can go outside its track as well, which is always a plus. It makes real sounds from the show as well, which is always a plus. You can easily assemble it too.

Source: airforcemedicine.af.mil

VTech Sit-to-Stand

This battery powered train not only is fun to ride on, but it can teach your kid about the ABCs. Oh yeah, and it has a piano your kid can play with as well. It has its own learning center to teach your toddler about all the basics. For a toddler, learning has never been more fun, and we know your little one is going to love what he sees. If you want to get your child to learn their alphabet, shapes, numbers, and more, then you should take them aboard the learning train.

Source: flickr.com (Penguino20)

Peg Perego Santa Fe

This is another cool train that can go on a track or off the track, too. The track itself is 12 pieces, and the train has a classic design that is aesthetically pleasing. It makes sounds that resemble a real train and no steering required. Your kid is going to love every bit of it.

 

DISCLAIMER (IMPORTANT): This information (including all text, images, audio, or other formats on FamilyHype.com) is not intended to be a substitute for informed professional advice, diagnosis, endorsement or treatment. You should not take any action or avoid taking action without consulting a qualified professional.   Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions about medical conditions. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here a FamilyHype.com.

Source: The Top Ride On Trains On The Market – Family Hype

Open Innovation In Japan Breaks New Ground In The Operating Room

Yoshihiro Muragaki (left) and Jun Okamoto (right) of Tokyo Women's University's Institute of Advanced Biomedical Engineering and Science

Yoshihiro Muragaki (left) and Jun Okamoto (right) of Tokyo Women’s Medical University’s Institute of Advanced Biomedical Engineering and Science pose in a version of the Smart Cyber Operating Theater (SCOT).JAPAN BRANDVOICE

Imagine undergoing surgery on a robotic bed that can automatically help perform a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan while an artificial intelligence (AI) system actively supports surgeons by suggesting various procedures. It sounds like a scenario from a Hollywood movie, but it’s reality in Japan.

Doctors at the Tokyo Women’s Medical University – Waseda University Joint Institution for Advanced Biomedical Sciences (TWIns) recently performed a groundbreaking brain surgery to treat essential tremor, a neurological disorder. It was the first clinical use of the latest version of the institution’s Smart Cyber Operating Theater (SCOT). Hyper SCOT, as it’s known, brings robotics and AI into the operating theater so that patients can have better post-surgical outcomes. It’s an impressive example of the many forms of open collaboration driving innovation in Japan.

A new frontier in surgery

Walking into the Hyper SCOT operating room at Tokyo Women’s Medical University, one gets the feeling of entering Sick Bay aboard the starship Enterprise from Star Trek. Silver doors slide open to reveal a sleek white room illuminated by variable-color lights. In the center are a pair of robots: an operating bed that swivels to position a patient under a large MRI scanner nearby, and a dual-armed industrial-style robot that can support a surgeon’s arms while operating. On the wall are high-resolution images of a patient’s brain. Surgeons can gesture to zoom in or change the images’ orientation, a feature inspired by the Tom Cruise film Minority Report.

As a next-generation operating room, SCOT can reduce risks and increase benefits for patients, says Muragaki.

As a next-generation operating room, SCOT can reduce risks and increase benefits for patients, says Muragaki.JAPAN BRANDVOICE

Hyper SCOT is designed to transform surgery from an analog process, where standalone equipment is not connected, into a digital process where data are shared. It can support surgical teams by providing them with a rich stream of data from networked medical tools as well as AI-powered advice on surgical options. SCOT also aims to improve precision by helping brain surgeons accurately navigate to a tumor site. Although MRI had only been available to surgeons before an operation, Hyper SCOT would enable them to get scans during the procedure, which could dramatically improve outcomes.

“If we have many kinds of information, we need some kind of strategy desk, like Mission Control at NASA,” says SCOT project leader Yoshihiro Muragaki, a professor in Tokyo Women’s Medical University’s Institute of Advanced Biomedical Engineering and Science. “Our moonshot is to make new eyes, brains and hands for surgeons. With SCOT, we can perform precision-guided therapy.”

Okamoto demonstrates a SCOT brain imagery gestural interface inspired by the film Minority Report at Tokyo Women's Medical University.

Okamoto demonstrates a SCOT brain imagery gestural interface inspired by the film Minority Report at Tokyo Women’s Medical University. JAPAN BRANDVOICE

A neurosurgeon himself, Muragaki conceived of the SCOT project and has spearheaded it since its inception in 2000. Back then it was known as the Intelligent Operating Theater, a version now known as Classic SCOT. Supported by a grant from the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED), the system began as an initiative to enhance interoperability among devices used in the medical theater, but the development team later added features such as multiple surgery cameras that can send imagery to remote consultants, usually senior surgeons. These advisors have a bird’s-eye view of the action as well as near-real time data streams of patients’ vital statistics. Since 2000, the technology has been used in some 1,900 cases, mostly brain surgeries. MRI has been key in detecting residual tumor tissue that escaped surgeons’ notice during operations.

“Even under a microscope, it’s very difficult to detect where brain tumor tissue ends and healthy tissue begins,” says Muragaki. “That’s why we need MRI during surgery. It’s a very powerful tool for removing tumors. But that also means we can only use MRI-compatible devices in the operating room and we must choose them carefully.”

Fruits of teamwork

With over 100 researchers, SCOT is the result of a complex collaboration between academia and the private and public sectors. Aside from the two universities in TWIns, Muragaki and colleagues are working with Hiroshima University and Shinshu University, where versions of SCOT are being evaluated in clinical settings. High-tech companies are also helping to develop SCOT, including Hitachi, Canon Medical, and Air Water. Another participant is Denso. It developed a medical-equipment middleware called OpeLiNK that is based on factory automation technology as well as ORiN, a platform created with the support of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), a leading Japanese state-backed research center. Orchestrating all these players was essential in creating SCOT.

Another major benefit of SCOT is the ability to obtain scans using an MRI machine (right) during surgery.

Another major benefit of SCOT is the ability to obtain scans using an MRI machine (right) during surgery. JAPAN BRANDVOICE

“If one company tried to do this alone, it would want to use its own technology and keep rivals out,” says Muragaki. “That company wouldn’t succeed in integrating all the various technologies. That’s why public institutions are vital for this kind of open innovation project. They act like the frame in a traditional sensu Japanese folding fan, keeping everything together as the project unfolds.”

The collaborations that gave birth to SCOT were recently recognized when it picked up the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare Award as part of the first Japan Open Innovation Prize. Sponsored by the Japanese government, the accolade was set up to promote initiatives that can serve as future role models for open innovation. In Japan, companies traditionally kept R&D in-house, even in recent years. But the public and private sectors have been pushing open innovation as a vehicle for enhancing competitiveness. Collaborations between government labs, corporations and universities are now flourishing. Major telecom carrier KDDI, for instance, launched the first of a series of Open Innovation Funds in 2012, aimed at investing in IT startups in Japan and overseas.

“There’s a growing recognition that if a company categorizes itself as a camera company, for instance, it is limiting itself,” Keiichiro Koumura, an official with major real estate company Mitsui Fudosan, recently told attendees at an open innovation seminar at Mitsui Fudosan’s Base Q in Tokyo. “Because as technology changes, cameras have become smartphones. One way to address this is open innovation.”

Keiichiro Koumura of Mitsui Fudosan (center left) and Hideaki Nagano of Samurai Incubate (center right) discuss open innovation during a seminar at Base Q in Tokyo.

Keiichiro Koumura of Mitsui Fudosan (center left) and Hideaki Nagano of Samurai Incubate (center right) discuss open innovation during a seminar at Base Q in Tokyo.japan brandvoice

Looking to the future

As for SCOT, Muragaki hopes to spread the technology to other hospital facilities such as intensive care units, and apply it to other forms of surgery such as vascular operations. He also hopes to take the technology overseas.

“Most doctors are resistant to change. Before they try SCOT, surgeons don’t regard it as something that’s necessary but once they give it a go, their view changes,” says Muragaki. “After brain surgeries, we want to try the technology on bone tumors, and keep going. If you could do all surgeries with SCOT, it would decrease risks and increase benefits. That’s something we can work toward.”

To find out more about SCOT, visit the university’s website here.

For more on the Japanese Government’s innovations and technologies, please click here.

Japan is changing. The country is at the forefront of demographic change that is expected to affect countries around the world. Japan regards this not as an onus but as

Source: Open Innovation In Japan Breaks New Ground In The Operating Room

6 Tips for Building Trust With Your Child’s Doctors – Beth Arky

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Find clinicians who get your kid.

“We have an exceptional relationship with our OT and a solid one with our developmental pediatrician,” Dana W. writes. “They value our kiddo in ways the regular world doesn’t. [The OT] had one 90-minute session with him and she spoke our language. In so many other situations, I feel like I’m my child’s translator. [The doctor] has ‘Great minds don’t all think alike’ on his business cards. Our child never feels broken or different to them. They make him laugh and work hard.”

Make your needs known.

“I vented about the initial pediatrician (who was very judgmental and rigid) and let the new pediatrician know what I needed from her so that my anxiety would be lower,” writes Dede W.

Keep your pediatrician in the loop.

Interview doctors before establishing a relationship,” Sonya S. writes. “Keep the pediatrician in the loop with all the other specialists. Visits are inherently rushed, but [keep] the conversation … focused and effective.”

Use your pediatrician as a resource.

“I love my children’s pediatrician,” Julie C. writes. “She trusts what mom says and will give great referrals. She and I have both learned over the years that she can help best by referring out to a specialist!”

Find someone you and your child trust.

“I’ve found that many doctors in the same area can be very opinionated [about] one another and have different methods and ideas [about] treatment,” Jenny K. writes. “You really need to shop around and find someone you and your child can trust.”

Collaboration is key.

“While stimulants can be helpful for focus, the side effects … can make the benefit not worth it,” Marilyn L. writes. “Luckily, there are different options. Find a doctor who can work with you to find a combination of behavioral, therapeutic, nutritional and pharmacologic interventions.” Kristin T adds, “It’s important to create a team that listens and works together. We connect with each provider and make sure [they all connect] in a collaborative space.”

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