Exact Sciences (EXAS), the company behind the colorectal screening product, Cologuard, has been an interesting company to watch as of late. The stock recently caught my attention when I realized just how much Cologuard was being used. We’ll get into that in a big.
For those of you who haven’t been following the company, Exact Sciences is a company that’s dedicated to creating tools for the early detection of cancer. On August 12, 2014, the company announced FDA approved the its then flagship candidate, Cologuard.
Cologuard is the first noninvasive screening for colorectal cancer that analyzes both stool DNA and blood biomarkers. In clinical studies, the test proved to find 92 percent of cancers, making it one of the most effective cancer screening tools on the market to date.
Cologuard Is Rapidly Becoming An Industry Leader
If you follow the biotechnoogy space, you know that nothing that has to do with medicine is a fast moving process. It takes several years to bring a product to market in the space, and once a product hits the market, it takes several years to become a leading competitor in its space, if that ever happens.
For Cologuard, that is happening, and at a rapid rate. In fact, on Tuesday, February 26, 2018, less than 4 years after the FDA approved the treatment, Exact Sciences announce that Cologuard had been used to screen for colorectal cancer more than 1 million times. With this rate of growth, Cologuard has proven to be one of the quickest adopted cancer screening technologies to date. In a statement with regard to the milestone, Kevin Conroy, chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences, had the following to offer:
Colorectal cancer screening rates are stubbornly low, leaving millions of Americans unscreened for the No. 2 cancer killer… Cologuard was designed to help more people get screened and it is doing just that. Approximately half of Cologuard users haven’t been screened before and we’re excited that health care professionals and patients around the country are making Cologuard their noninvasive screening test of choice.
PGA And NASDAQ Could Help Send Sales Even Higher
Just one day after announcing that Cologuard was used in more than 1 million cancer screenings since its approval, another big announcement came. This time, the news had to do with increasing the awareness of the test.
In a press release issued on February 27, 2018, Exact Sciences announced that it would be ringing the NASDAQ opening bell. The event would take place onFebruary 28, 2019 remotely from Tucson, Arizona at the PGA TOUR Champions event.
The bell will be rung byKevin Conroy, Chairman & CEO, Exact Sciences; Anjee Davis, President, Fight Colorectal Cancer; Dr. Richard Wender, Chief Cancer Control Officer, American Cancer Society and Greg McLaughlin, President, PGA TOUR Champions. This will take place in honor of March, Colorectal Cancer Awareness month.
Interestingly enough, this isn’t your normal bell ringing. The bell ringing takes place at one of the largest events in the sport of golf, with millions of viewers paying attention to everything that happens! During the bell ringing ceremony, there is going to be a conversation about colorectal cancer and how important it is to be screened. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see cologuard come up in the conversation.
Considering the event, a large portion of the audience that follow the PGA Tour are affluent, educated and influential. Not to mention that with much of this audience being in the target age range and other targeted audience factors for Cologuard, this could prove to become a big sales push!
There Are Other Screening Tests In The Works
While Cologuard commercialization is a key point of focus for the company, Exact Sciences hasn’t put innovation on the back burner. In fact, there are several products that the company currently has under development.
At the moment, Exact Sciences is working in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic to develop screening tools that catch gastrointestinal or digestive cancers early. It is estimated that gastrointestinal and digestive cancers account for approximately 25% of cancer-related deaths. As such, early detection of these cancers is a pressing need in the field of oncology.
The company is also working on diagnostics tools that are designed to quickly and effectively detect both esophageal cancer and Barrett’s Esophagus. This is also an immediate medical need as esophageal cancer is the fastest growing cancer in the United States according to the National Cancer Institute.
Finally, The company is also working to develop a diagnostics tool for the early detection of pancreatic cancer. According to the ASCO’s Cancer.net, 53,070 adults, including 27,670 men and 25,400 women, in the United States will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year alone. Of these patients, 41,780, including 21,450 men and 20,330 women, are not expected to survive the ailment.
Any time that I take a strong bullish opinion on anything, I like to make sure that the readers of my work don’t forget about the risks. While Exact Sciences does have quite a bit going for them, they still have yet to turn a profit. Over the past four consecutive quarters, we’ve seen declining losses and beats on expectations, but a loss is indeed a loss. While the company is on track to make it to a profit, it’s going to take more growth with Cologuard and potentially the development and regulatory approval of other diagnostics products to actually push the company over that edge. This should be taken into consideration when thinking about investing in Exact Sciences.
Exact Sciences Is A Strong Contender In The Diagnostics Space
When it comes to cancer diagnostics, Exact Sciences is on the right path to make a big difference in the speed at which we detect these life threatening conditions. With Cologuard quickly becoming the screening of choice for Colorectal cancer, the company is working its way toward profits. Also, considering the company’s impressive pipeline, Cologuard isn’t likely to be the only product in a one hit wonder story. Nonetheless, as always, it’s a good idea to consider the risks and do your own due diligence or speak with a licensed financial advisor when making investment decisions.
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