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Exact Sciences, Mayo Clinic Expand Colorectal Cancer Screening, Diagnostic Alliance

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Exact Sciences and the Mayo Clinic announced today that they have expanded their collaboration to develop screening, surveillance, and diagnostic tests for colorectal cancer to include other diseases within the gastrointestinal tract.

"By expanding our relationship with Mayo Clinic, we have an opportunity to build on our shared successes and continue looking for new opportunities to take on some of the deadliest forms of cancer," Exact CEO and Chairman Kevin Conroy said in a statement.

The two began working together in 2011 to develop Cologuard, a US Food and Drug Administration-approved test that gauges DNA and blood biomarkers and determines whether a patient has pre-cancerous polyps or cancer. Mayo's David Ahlquist co-invented technology underlying the test and licensed it to Exact in exchange for equity in the company and royalties on product sales.

The new agreement extends the alliance to January 31, 2020, and expands the scope of the deal to cover gastrointestinal cancers, pre-cancers, diseases, and conditions. It also defines the term "gastrointestinal" to include certain airway organs including the pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, and lungs, as well as certain head and neck organs including nasal passages, mouth, and throat.

Exact will continue to have the rights to intellectual property generated through the partnership including patents, know-how, and new biomarkers. Mayo, meanwhile, will receive a low single-digit royalty on net sales of products that use its licensed IP, in addition to $5 million paid in annual installments over five years.