Exact Sciences Acquires PreventionGenetics and Licenses OncXerna Lab Services

Jennifer Hamilton and Enrique Lin Shiao

Exact Sciences has acquired PreventionGenetics, a genetic testing laboratory, to complement its advanced cancer diagnostics portfolio and support its entrance into hereditary cancer testing (HCT). PreventionGenetics has a CLIA certified lab that provides comprehensive germline whole genome sequencing test, PGnome, as well as a whole exome sequencing test, PGxome.

On the same day, Exact said it had entered an exclusive license agreement for OncXerna’s Xerna TME Panel Lab services, a gene expression score that helps identify patients likely to respond to anti-angiogenic and immunotherapies based on the tumor microenvironment (TME).

“PreventionGenetics is a natural fit with Exact Sciences, and we’re thrilled to have their talented team join in our mission to make earlier cancer detection a routine part of medical care,” said Kevin Conroy, Exact Sciences chairman and CEO.

“We share in PreventionGenetics’ belief that genetics can transform medicine, improve lives, and help eradicate cancer. With our deep relationships in primary care and PreventionGenetics’ strong reputation among genetics specialists, Exact Sciences can help more people understand their inherited risk of cancer to catch it earlier and treat it more effectively.”

Exact currently sells the Cologuard colon cancer test as well as several OncotypeDX tests, GEM (Genomic Enabled Medicine) ExTRA for cancer, and Oncoguard Liver. The company reports that nearly 300,000 health care providers and more than 200 large U.S. health systems us its Cologuard and Oncotype DX tests in primary care, women’s health, oncology, and other specialties. In partnership with the PreventionGenetics team, Exact Sciences plans to “leverage its unmatched commercial reach in diagnostics to expand hereditary cancer and genetic testing throughout the U.S. and globally,” according to a release.

PreventionGenetics provides more than 5,000 predefined genetic tests for nearly all clinically relevant genes, additional custom panels, and comprehensive germline whole exome and whole genome sequencing tests. The company offers tests spanning decades of life including proactive health and wellness, cancer risk and screening, pediatric and adult-onset rare diseases, and others.

Under the terms of the acquisition agreement, PreventionGenetics received total consideration of $190 million, comprised of 50% in Exact Sciences common stock and 50% in cash. PreventionGenetics expects preliminary, unaudited 2021 revenue of approximately $36 million and $3 million in adjusted EBITDA. XMS Capital served as financial advisor to Exact Sciences and K&L Gates served as its legal advisor. CrossTree Capital served as financial advisor to PreventionGenetics, and Winston & Strawn served as legal advisor.

“As the role of immunotherapy in cancer treatment grows, a critical unmet need among oncologists and healthcare professionals is being able to predict a patient’s response to specific drugs prior to starting treatment,” said Matt Franklin, general manager of Precision Oncology for Exact Sciences. “The immunotherapy prediction ability of OncXerna’s Xerna TME Panel, coupled with the comprehensive profiling capabilities of Exact Sciences’ GEM ExTra test, has the potential to significantly impact patient outcomes.”

The Xerna TME Panel uses proprietary RNA-based gene expression data and a machine learning-based algorithm to classify patients based on the interplay between angiogenic and immunogenic dominant biologies of the TME.

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