Exact Sciences advances fight against colorectal cancer with opening of new laboratory
MADISON, Wis. – June 26, 2019 – Less than 20 months after breaking ground, Exact Sciences today opened the doors on its new, 169,000 square foot clinical laboratory and warehouse on the City of Madison’s near west side.
Exact Sciences is a biotechnology company focused on delivering life-changing innovations in earlier cancer detection. The laboratory opened Wednesday will process Cologuard, the company’s colorectal cancer screening test. The new facility is expected to help bring the company’s total Cologuard processing capacity to 7 million tests per year, and unites many core business functions within a common campus.
“Madison, Wisconsin is the home of earlier cancer detection,” said Exact Sciences president and CEO, Kevin Conroy. “From this campus, our Laboratory and Customer Care teams will help people across the country get screened and detect colorectal cancers and precancers. This will help improve outcomes, change lives, and reduce the toll colorectal cancer takes on our society.”
Following a ceremonial ribbon cutting, guests toured the new lab to learn about the DNA analysis and processes which produce a Cologuard result.
“What we are doing is extremely high tech, and it is also extremely accessible,” said Ana Hooker, senior vice president of Operations for Exact Sciences. “We want everyone who visits this lab to understand the science behind our process and the rigor and care applied at each step.”
Campus supports growing teams
The new facility reflects the company’s continued expansion and growth. In 2009, Exact Sciences relocated its headquarters to Madison, Wisconsin and restarted operations. At the time, it employed a handful of employees. Today, Exact Sciences employs more than 2,300 people, with three-quarters of its workforce in Wisconsin. The company currently has more than 300 open positions.
The company expects the number of health care providers and patients choosing Cologuard to continue to increase. Exact Sciences is investing in its clinical laboratory facilities and professionals. By the end of 2019, Exact Sciences expects to have the laboratory capacity to process up to 7 million Cologuard tests per year, which consists of 4 million tests per year at the lab opened today and 3 million per year at its existing lab.
“More than 30 million Americans are not current with colorectal cancer screening guidelines,” said Mark Stenhouse, president of Exact Sciences’ Cologuard business. “We designed Cologuard to help people get screened, and it is doing exactly that. Approximately half of all new Cologuard users were previously unscreened. This lab is a milestone in our company’s ongoing efforts to change stagnant screening rates and help people take control of their health.”
Since Cologuard received FDA approval in 2014, Exact Sciences processed more than 2 million Cologuard results – one million in the last year alone.
The lab opening took place at what Exact Sciences is calling its Discovery Campus. The company acquired the property in November 2017 and immediately broke ground on the lab and warehouse facilities.
Next to the lab, the Exact Sciences Customer Care team resides in a newly renovated office building on the campus. A 970-stall parking garage opens at the end of the month, and construction is underway on a cafeteria and employee amenities building, linking the lab to the office building. Production and manufacturing space adjacent to the lab will also soon come online to support Cologuard’s anticipated growth.
The growth is producing demand for new talent, across a wide variety of job types and experience levels. Exact Sciences and Urban League of Greater Madison (ULGM) operate training academies which expose jobseekers and those considering a career change to opportunities within the biotech company’s lab and customer care teams.
“You don’t have to be a scientist to work at Exact Sciences,” said Ruben Anthony, Jr., president of the Urban League of Greater Madison (ULGM). “The jobs created by this company are sustainable with full benefits, including company stock, generous paid time off, and health insurance. These are transformative opportunities. We are proud of this partnership and this city is fortunate to have an employer committed to growing locally and doing business the right way creating opportunities for so many.”
Since the program launch in 2018, it trained 31 people. Of those, 84% (26 people) received job offers at Exact Sciences. Those interested in positions at the company can search a complete database of open jobs and apply online at http://careers.exactsciences.