Exact Sciences closed on its purchase New Year’s Eve of PreventionGenetics, a lab founded in 2004 that produces 5,000 types of genetic tests for clients in 85 countries. The biomedical giant announced the sale Sunday along with the release of its preliminary fourth quarter earnings report.
PreventionGenetics tests can assess cancer risk, as well as pediatric and adult-onset rare diseases, among other conditions, said doctor and lab CEO James Weber. The tests can also be used as a tool allowing patients to get a comprehensive look at their DNA in an effort to be proactive about their health, he said.
For Exact Sciences, PreventionGenetics screens offer an opportunity to develop additional tests that detect genetic mutations connected to increased cancer risk in patients.
At market open last Monday, the day after the acquisition was announced, Exact Sciences stock shares traded at around $76. And expected total fourth quarter revenue is to fall somewhere between $472-475 million, according to the firm’s preliminary financial report.
A final earnings report is anticipated to publish in early February.
“Once we put (what PreventionGenetics offers) into our engine and into our scale … we train our people appropriately … the opportunities for growth are tremendous,” said Exact Sciences chief operating officer Everett Cunningham, adding the firm experienced “good momentum” during its fourth quarter.
Under the terms of the acquisition, PreventionGenetics received 50% of the purchase total from Exact Sciences common stock, and the other half in cash.
“PreventionGenetics will continue to function as an autonomous unit,” said Weber of how the acquisition impacts lab operations and employees. “The (name) will be retained. We will continue to operate in Marshfield.”
The sale adds 215 employees, 25 of those being geneticists, to Exact Sciences’ total 6,500.
But while only 15 PreventionGenetics workers are account executives who get patients tested around the world, Exact Sciences employs thousands of such professionals who would expand that effort.
So the next six to eight months will be spent studying how PreventionGenetics runs, Cunningham said, ensuring that “what they do is applicable to what we are trying to build.”
“For over a year, we’ve been working on an ownership change project at PreventionGenetics,” Weber said of what spurred the acquisition. “We considered a large number of suitors. The reason we settled on Exact … (the company) treats its employees exceptionally well. I feel much more comfortable working with a company with Wisconsin roots.”
Already, around 300,000 care providers and 200 large U.S. health systems rely on Exact Sciences for its Cologuard and Oncotype DX tests. Cologuard screens for colon cancer, and Oncotype helps physicians determine whether cancer patients require chemotherapy.
Exact Sciences is also making strides in its research of a blood-based cancer test, also called “liquid biopsies,” which is undergoing clinical trials.
“The Exact Sciences team delivered outstanding results to finish 2021, setting us up for years of strong growth and a clear path to profitability,” said Kevin Conroy, chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences in a Monday statement about the early earnings report. “We plan to fundamentally change how cancer patients are diagnosed and treated.”
Exact Sciences also announced Sunday that the company has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Massachusetts-based medicine firm OncXerna Therapeutics.
The agreement expands the availability of OncXerna’s panel of lab tests for U.S. patients, Exact Sciences said in a statement Sunday.
The Xerna TIME Panel of tests assess the likelihood of a patient responding to certain types of tumor therapies. Those insights help guide a healthcare professional to the right treatment protocols.
Exact will now offer the panel as part of its GEM ExTra test, which provides patients a look at how their genes have been affected by cancer.
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