Source: Tyler Olson/Fotolia
Source: Tyler Olson/Fotolia

Tempus said today it is partnering with breast cancer specialist and research teams at the University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences (UCM) to detect novel patterns that can predict how patients will respond to treatment. The collaboration, whose value was not disclosed, is designed to improve and personalize treatment for breast cancer patients.

Under the agreement, Tempus has agreed to provide molecular sequencing and analysis for patients being treated for breast cancer at UCM, a research institute and healthcare provider. Through advanced bioinformatics and machine learning, Tempus plans to analyze data from about 1,000 breast cancer patients and generate additional genomic data for a subset of those patients.

That patient population is roughly equal to the more than 1,000 breast cancer patients whose data has been sequenced and annotated, with clinical information that includes treatment and outcomes data, as part of The Cancer Genome Atlas, the largest publicly available dataset. Tempus will work with the University of Chicago-based Genomic Data Commons, a next-generation platform designed to enable data access, analysis, and sharing for cancer research.

Over the past six months, Tempus has launched clinical collaborations with the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center (focused on immunotherapies), University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center (ovarian and triple negative breast cancer), University of Michigan (pancreatic cancer), and Duke University School of Medicine (brain cancer).

The company has also launched a collaboration with the Mayo Clinic focused on patients participating in studies related to immunotherapy for lung cancer, melanoma, bladder cancer, breast cancer and lymphoma, as well as endocrine therapy for advanced breast cancer.

In the collaboration with UCM, Tempus will work directly with Olufunmilayo (Funmi) Olopade, M.D., professor of medicine and human genetics and dean for global health at the University of Chicago. Dr. Olopade specializes in cancer-risk assessment and individualized treatment for the most aggressive forms of breast cancer.

“We are excited to partner with Tempus on this initiative and eager to support its efforts to build the largest clinically annotated molecular data set in breast cancer. This could improve clinical care and lead to novel research opportunities,” Dr. Olopade said in a statement.

Tempus operates its own CLIA-certified lab optimized for high-throughput clinical next-generation sequencing with a current capacity of more than 50,000 patients annually. All sequencing includes RNA-seq capture and germline. Sequencing is completed within about two weeks to three weeks of receiving patient samples.

Based in Chicago, Tempus is seeking to build the world’s largest library of molecular and clinical data, as well as an operating system to collect, sort and analyze that data, to improve its accessibility and utility to physicians. Launched in 2015, Tempus is led by co-founder and CEO Eric Lefkofsky, who also co-founded and is Chairman of Groupon.

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