Precision medicine company Tempus inks 3rd major pharma deal, securing nearly $1B revenue boost

Precision medicine company Tempus has inked another major pharma collaboration as drug developers integrate artificial intelligence into their R&D pipelines.

As part of a multiyear strategic collaboration, Pfizer will tap multiple parts of Tempus' AI platform and its data library to advance clinical discovery.

In the past two years, Tempus has notched partnerships with global pharmaceutical companies to boost its work in drug discovery and precision oncology. The company has an expanded collaboration with GSK to enable the U.K. pharma giant to leverage its AI-enabled patient data platform. GSK recently paid Tempus $70 million upfront for three more years of partnership.

Tempus also inked a partnership with AstraZeneca to use its AI technologies to advance cancer drug development.

These three pharma deals collectively represent approximately $700 million in revenue over the next few years, according to Tempus executives.

The Pfizer agreement comes less than a week after Tempus announced a partnership with Actuate Therapeutics to discover biomarkers of response to a cancer drug.

The tech company's strategic collaboration with Pfizer also is focused on cancer drug discovery and development with the aim of getting novel treatments to patients faster, both organizations said in a press release.

Through the collaboration, Pfizer has access to Tempus’ AI-enabled platform and its library of de-identified, multimodal data. Pfizer also has access to Tempus’ broad range of capabilities that support therapeutic R&D to advance its own oncology portfolio, including AI-driven companion diagnostic offerings and Tempus’ clinical trial matching program, TIME, that activates studies for patients in communities across the country, according to executives.

Pfizer has developed a data-driven approach to its therapeutic R&D process, and Tempus is well equipped to support and supplement those efforts, Eric Lefkofsky, Tempus founder and CEO, said in an interview.

"Our AI-enabled precision medicine platform combines cutting-edge machine learning capabilities with our vast library of multimodal data to support researchers at every step of the R&D process—from biomarker discovery to clinical trial design and patient enrollment, all the way through the final approval," he said. "The benefits of data science and AI have the potential to increase the probability of success of Pfizer's existing efforts, both internally and with their biotech partners, which in turn, benefits patients."

Founded in 2015, Tempus says it’s built the world’s largest library of clinical and molecular data along with an operating system to make those data accessible and useful for providers to inform patient care. The company has grown to about 2,200 employees and works with more than 5,000 oncologists, according to Lefkofsky.

Over the past seven years, Tempus built out capabilities in precision medicine and AI to power drug discovery and genomic sequencing. 

"We're uniquely capable of supporting biopharma companies in selecting the right drug development opportunities to prioritize, as well as identifying those that should be discontinued, thereby increasing the success of their portfolios and reducing the amount of wasted financial resources that instead can be redirected into developing more novel therapies to help patients," Lefkofsky told Fierce Healthcare.

"By implementing Tempus' technology into their pipeline, companies like AstraZeneca and GSK have already seen improvement in biomarker discovery, clinical trial design and acceleration of trial enrollment," he said.

He pointed out that AstraZeneca is already using Tempus' multimodal data throughout its phase 3 oncology clinical trials. According to the company's data, AZ saw an average increase in PTS (probability of technical success) per study of 5 percentage points.

Tempus has banked $1.3 billion in funding over nine funding rounds. Two years ago, the tech company banked $200 million in financing rounds, reportedly driving its valuation to $8.1 billion. Tempus has focused on expanding the reach of its AI-enabled patient data platform into clinical trial services, AI-enabled diagnostics and personalized medicine for cancer and cardiology. Through recent acquisitions, it also is building out its arsenal of radiology- and pathology-based AI applications.

"Given the early stage of AI and its impact in healthcare—and the overall size of the healthcare industry care—along with the opportunities that exist to drive efficiencies throughout the entire life sciences ecosystem, we believe Tempus is uniquely positioned," Lefkofsky said.