Exact Sciences plans $350 million investment in Madison that could create 1,300 jobs

Exact Science's Research and Development Center of Excellence in Madison. (Rendering: Exact Sciences)

Last updated on January 17th, 2022 at 01:55 pm

Exact Sciences Corp. plans to make a $350 million investment in its Madison campuses that could create more than 1,300 new jobs, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. announced Thursday.

The cancer screening and diagnostics company plans to develop a new Research and Development Center of Excellence at its west-side Madison campus, which will allow the company to enhance its research capabilities related to its flagship colon cancer screening product Cologuard as well as its work on multi-cancer detection.

It also plans to build out new lab space featuring “new technology and automation” to increase testing capacity and support Cologuard product development and will add warehouse space consisting of ambient storage racking, cold storage and hazardous material storage, the WEDC said.

Exact Sciences is best known for its noninvasive colon and rectal cancer screening test, Cologuard, which was approved by the FDA in 2014. In recent years, the company has made a series of acquisitions to expand its scope to other cancers.

“Since relocating to Wisconsin in 2009, Exact Sciences has grown from a handful of people into a worldwide team focused on eradicating cancer and the suffering it causes,” said Kevin Conroy, chairman and chief executive officer. “Continued investments in our Wisconsin-based people and facilities will accelerate the development of new cancer tests and ensure we continue providing world-class service and critical answers to patients.”

The projects are being supported by $18.5 million in performance-based Enterprise Zone tax credits, which would be awarded if the company meets the new capital investment and job creation goals by 2025.

Exact Sciences entered a contract with WEDC in 2014 requiring the company to create 758 jobs and invest at least $26.2 million to qualify for $9 million in tax credits. The WEDC board of directors recently authorized increasing the tax credits to $27.5 million if the company reaches the 1,300 new-job figure and makes the $350 million capital investment by 2025.

The company currently has over 6,500 employees, about 3,500 of whom are based in the Madison area. Its headquarters is located at 441 Charmany Drive in University Research Park.

“Exact Sciences has already demonstrated an almost unlimited potential to grow,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of the WEDC. “The fact that they’re choosing to grow in Wisconsin is testament to the strength of our state’s economy and our strong support for businesses of every size, shape and sector.”

Earlier this week, Exact Sciences announced its acquisition of Marshfield-based genetic testing laboratory PreventionGenetics for $190 million, a deal that supports its entrance into hereditary cancer testing. It follows a series of acquisitions since 2019, including a $2.8 billion acquisition of California-based Genomic Health, which expanded its diagnostics into breast cancer with Genomic’s Oncotype DX test. The deal signaled the company’s longer-term vision of being a leader across a range of cancer diagnostics.

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