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Big marketing deal for Mayo Clinic-designed test

August 22, 2018

Shares of Wisconsin-based Exact Sciences jumped by about 25 percent in trading Wednesday morning after the company announced a marketing deal with pharmaceutical giant Pfizer that’s expected to boost sales for a cancer screening test first developed by the Mayo Clinic.

Pfizer says it will match Exact Sciences’ shared marketing and promotion expense up to $87 million between 2018 and 2021, according to a regulatory filing. The shared spending would come on top of the Wisconsin company’s baseline marketing expenses of $80 million per year.

A Mayo physician is a co-inventor of the Cologuard testing technology, which has been licensed to Exact Sciences from Mayo Clinic. Under that licensing agreement, Mayo Clinic and the physician share in equity and royalties, although the clinic hasn’t released financial details.

“Pfizer will join Exact Sciences’ sales representatives in reaching both physicians and health systems and will also actively participate in extending and deepening the Cologuard marketing campaign,” the companies said in a statement.

The DNA screening test requires people to send stool samples in the mail for laboratory analysis, and early studies found it’s as reliable as a colonoscopy in identifying potentially fatal colon cancers. Mayo Clinic officials say the Cologuard test, which was first sold beginning in 2014, is a leading example of successful commercialization for medical advances developed by the clinic.

In late morning trading Wednesday, shares of Exact Sciences were up about 25 percent at $62.98.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Christopher Snowbeck • 612-673-4744 Twitter: @chrissnowbeck

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