Tempus, University of Michigan develop oncology sequencing program

Health technology company Tempus is partnering with the University of Michigan’s cancer center to bring a new type of personalized treatment for cancer patients to the market.

The treatment, branded as MI-ONCOSEQ, stands for Michigan Oncology Sequencing Center. It was developed at U of M in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which has about 400 employees, Tempus said in a statement. MI-ONCOSEQ uses high-throughput gene sequencing techniques to find new options for individuals who have cancer that isn’t responsive to standard care, such as chemotherapy and radiation.

Eric Lefkofsky, a tech entrepreneur who founded Groupon and Echo Global Logistics, is the co-founder and CEO of Tempus.

"Tempus is thrilled to make the MI-ONCOSEQ panel accessible to the millions of patients living with cancer in the U.S.," Lefkofsky said. "By taking this clinically validated platform to scale and adding it to a system that builds insight as it grows, healthcare professionals across the country can now gain a deeper understanding of their patient's tumor, helping them uncover the best treatment options.”

Tempus has recruited a team of geneticists, computational biologists, data scientist and software engineers to develop the software that identifies DNA sequences in tumors and cancer cells to find effective treatments for patients.

"A one-size-fits-all approach is not effective in managing cancer,” said Arul Chinnaiyan, MD, PhD, who developed the panel and is the director of the Michigan Center for Translational Pathology, in a statement. “Licensing the MI-ONCOSEQ panel to Tempus, we hope to make it commonplace for patients to have a molecular blueprint of their tumor and for their physicians to have access to innovative clinical research and analytic tools that will provide evidence for their decision making.”