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Mizuho's Increase of Target Price Boosts Exact Sciences Stock

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Shares of Exact Sciences rose as much as 7 percent today after Mizuho Securities increased the target price for the colorectal cancer molecular diagnostic firm to $18 from $13.

The Madison, Wis.-based firm's stock price rose as high as $12.88 today on the Nasdaq after Mizuho analyst Peter Lawson raised his target price, saying in a research note that meetings and presentations at the recent American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting highlighted growing awareness that colorectal cancer is "more suitable for population screening than any other malignancy" and added "We believe [Exact Sciences] is best positioned to capture this opportunity."

Lawson has a Buy rating for Exact Sciences.

The firm is currently in the process of filing its premarket approval submission to the US Food and Drug Administration for its colorectal cancer test, called Cologuard. The first two modules of the PMA have been submitted, and during Exact Sciences' first-quarter revenues conference last month, company President and CEO Kevin Conroy said the third and final module, which will contain data from its Deep-C clinical trial, would be submitted to FDA by June.

Lawson said in his note that he expects the company to reach a decision in the coming months about whether it intends to buy or build a CLIA laboratory to perform Cologuard. Publication of full results from its clinical trail could also happen before the end of the year. The company released top-line data in April.

Before year's end, Lawson added, an FDA advisory committee could meet to make its recommendation for the test. He said that he expects regulatory approval of Cologuard in 2014.

In afternoon trading Exact Sciences shares were up 6 percent at $12.77.