Tempus is a Chicago-based cancer-fighting technology company that was founded by Eric Lefkofsky in 2015. Its primary focus is building a rich library of clinical and molecular cancer data along with an operating system that makes all that information accessible to oncologists and other health care staff. Its ultimate goal is personalization of cancer care through the use of big data and analytics.
Tempus recently announced that it has successfully met a rigorous set of qualifications and is participating in the NCI-Molecular Analysis for Therapy Choice (NCI-MATCH or EAY131) precision medicine trial as a CLIA-certified/accredited laboratory. As part of the collaboration – a trial co-lead by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group (ECOG-ACRIN) – Tempus will flag patients that could be eligible for one of several NCI-MATCH treatments by identifying gene abnormalities via its Tempus xT assay. The only way for patients to enroll into the trial is via tumor gene testing by a designated lab. Upon identifying patients that meet selection criteria, Tempus will notify treating oncologists from more than 1,100 sites that participate in the trial. Furthermore, eligible patient who happen to be treated at a site other than those who are participating can receive referrals to the sites that are part of the trial.
Tempus has several sequencing platforms, including Tempus xT, the sequencing platform of a targeted panel of 595 genes relevant to the diagnosis, prognosis as well as therapeutic targeting of cancer. It sequences the tumor DNA and RNA as well as a matched normal blood or saliva specimen. The company’s other platforms include Tempus xO, the sequencing of an onco-seq panel of 1714 genes, Tempus xE, whole exome sequencing, and, Tempus xF, a liquid biopsy sequencing platform.
According to the NCI-MATCH study co-chair James V. Tricoli, Ph.D., Chief, Diagnostic Biomarkers and Technology Branch, Cancer Diagnosis Program, Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis at the NCI, “Tumor profiling and genomic testing are becoming common in daily practice for oncologists to help guide clinical care for cancer patients.” “We require qualifying laboratories to proactively identify potentially eligible patients for the NCI-MATCH trial,” he adds.
Tempus’ Chief Medical Officer, Gary Palmer states that “Clinical trials are often the best chance that patients with rare cancers or cancers with poor prognosis have at securing more time. The innovative design of the NCI-MATCH trial proactively identifies patients rather than following the typical playbook, which puts the burden of finding a potentially life-saving trial on patients and their physicians.”
Encompassing nearly 40 treatment arms addressing several tumor types and targeted treatments, NCI-MATCH (EAY131 or NCT02465060) is the largest precision medicine cancer trial to date. It is a phase 2 precision medicine trial that primarily focuses on assessing the effectiveness of treatment directed by genomic profiling in patients with solid tumors, lymphomas, or myelomas that have progressed following standard treatments expected to prolong survival, or for rare cancer types for which there is no standard treatment. If discovered, these patients could be eligible to move on to larger, more definitive trials.
“NCI-MATCH is a discovery trial whose very nature—identifying and exploring knowledge gaps in precision oncology, and advancing new hypotheses—means studying small subsets of patients. We are qualifying additional laboratories so we can cast a wider net for patients with the biomarkers of interest,” according to ECOG-ACRIN study chair Keith T. Flaherty, MD, director of Clinical Research at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, and professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.
NCI-MATCH is investigating more tumor gene mutations and drugs than any other precision medicine cancer treatment trial, while including a large number of cancer times rather than focusing on just one. The drugs and drug combinations that the trial has included have either been FDA- approved for specific cancer types or are still being tested in other clinical trials but have shown some effectiveness against tumors with a particular gene alteration(s). Given its vastness as well as wide scope, NCI-MATCH is unlike any other clinical trial to date.
To learn more about NCI-MATCH, including clinical trial sites across the country, please visit http://www.ecog-acrin.org/nci-match-eay131.
About Eric Lefkofsky
Lefkofsky is one of Chicago’s most influential entrepreneurs. Founded in 2015, Tempus has already claimed a spot among Chicago’s top ten health techs. It is also one of few of the city’s startups that has obtained unicorn funding status. Lefkofsky is a founding partner of Lightbank, a venture fund investing in disruptive technologies. He is also the co-founder and Chairman of Groupon(NASDAQ: GRPN), a global e-commerce marketplace, and co-founder of Mediaocean, a leading provider of integrated media procurement technology; Echo Global Logistics (NASDAQ: ECHO), a technology-enabled transportation and logistics outsourcing firm; InnerWorkings(NASDAQ: INWK), a global provider of managed print and promotional solutions and a founding investor of Uptake Technologies, a leading predictive analytics platform for the world’s largest industries.