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Analysts are optimistic about Exact Sciences financial losses because they reflect the heavy investment in clinical trials for a new noninvasive colorectal cancer test.
Exact Sciences, a Wisconsin-based molecular diagnostics company, posted a $6.6 million loss during the second quarter and an $11 million overall loss in the first half of 2011, but analysts remain optimistic about the company as the losses reflect a heavy investment in clinical trials of a new noninvasive test for colorectal cancer.
Cologuard is one test that went into clinical trial this summer. Cologuard would analyze stool samples by isolating specific DNA targets to determine whether a patient must undergo a colonoscopy for further screening. Although the test would not completely eliminate the need for colonoscopies, it could reduce the number of colonoscopies performed. Currently, the American Cancer Society recommends that all men and women aged ≥50 years should have a colonoscopy performed every 10 years. If a Cologuard test proved negative, it could eliminate the need for all patients to undergo an invasive and time-consuming screening procedure that requires bowel preparation and dietary restrictions.
In August, Exact Sciences stock climbed when a Rodman & Renshaw analyst upgraded the company’s shares from “market perform” to “market outperform,” meaning that it is expected to perform marginally better than the market as a whole.
“Starting the trial is a major milestone for the company that wouldn’t have been possible without the outstanding team we’ve built,” said Kevin T. Conroy, Exact Sciences’ president and CEO, in a statement released along with the secondquarter results. “We are focused now on the trial’s successful completion and delivering to market a patient-friendly screening test that enables the early detection of the disease.”