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Exact Sciences, Ironwood to Co-promote Cologuard

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Exact Sciences and Ironwood Pharmaceuticals today announced an agreement to co-promote Exact's Cologuard colorectal cancer screening test. 

Under the terms of the non-exclusive deal, Ironwood's clinical sales representatives will begin promoting Cologuard in the second quarter. Exact said the deal has the near-term potential to more than double the number of physicians who will receive information about and training for the test, which the US Food and Drug Administration approved last year. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services also issued a national coverage determination for the test.

Exact and Ironwood will also collaborate on medical education initiatives to support better knowledge of the test and the importance of colorectal cancer screening. Madison, Wis.-based Exact said that the deal augments its 140 sales representatives with Ironwood's team of about 160 sales representatives. The agreement is for one year but may be extended. 

"As we continue growing the Cologuard business and providing world-class service, this agreement offers an opportunity to broaden our reach among primary care physicians and gastroenterologists by engaging with them through sales calls and medical education," Exact Chief Operating Officer Maneesh Arora said in a statement. 

Last week Aetna began covering Cologuard under its Medicare Advantage plan, while Anthem also started covering the test under certain circumstances.