NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Investment firm William Blair initiated coverage of Exact Sciences with an "Outperform" rating and "Aggressive growth" company profile.
Analyst Brian Weinstein rated the Madison, Wis.-based molecular diagnostics firm based on the "enormous" market opportunity that exists for its Cologuard stool-based DNA colorectal cancer screening test. He cited the need for an accurate, non-invasive test, as well as encouraging early data on the test's performance and management's experience running large pre-market approval trials as reasons for the positive outlook.
Exact Sciences is currently developing the test and expects to file for clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration in 2012. Weinstein predicted that clearance would come in 2013.
Last month, the company raised $64.7 million in a public offering to support clinical trials for the test and to carry out "strategic initiatives."
In late-October, Exact Sciences presented data from a validation study for Cologuard. Weinstein said that though the firm has no other test in the pipeline or for sale, and any problems with the clinical study of Cologuard or its commercialization would be "a major issue, we believe this name offers significant value to investors patient enough to be rewarded, owing to the differentiated product and immense market opportunity."