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Exact Sciences Seeking Buyer or Merger Partner; Interim CEO Steps Down

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Oncology screening company Exact Sciences said it is seeking “strategic alternatives for the business,” which could include merging with or being bought by another company.
 
Marlborough, Mass.-based Exact, which has a license and marketing agreement with Laboratory Corporation of American for the sale of a colorectal cancer screening test, said today it has retained investment banking firm Leerink Swan to help it evaluate opportunities.
 
The company said earlier this month that its stool-based DNA screening technology was included in the American Cancer Society’s updated guidelines for colorectal cancer screening.
 
In a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission today, Exact said that interim CEO Patrick Zenner has stepped down from that post, and the firm has named President Jeffrey Luber to the CEO spot “until his successor is duly elected and qualified or until his earlier resignation or removal.” Luber also has been given a seat on the company’s board of directors.
 
Zenner retained his position as executive chairman of the board of directors of Exact.
 
Exact Sciences’ shares were trading up 9.2 percent at $2.86 on the Nasdaq in early Tuesday trade. In late February, the company’s stock had hit a 52-week low of $1.70 a share.
 
In October, Exact Sciences received a warning letter from the US Food and Drug Administration’s Office of In Vitro Diagnostics Device Evaluation and Safety regarding its PreGen-Plus colorectal screening technology. The agency said that the test is a medical device that requires premarket approval.
 
LabCorp has rights to exclusively distribute the PreGen-Plus test through 2010.