Madison cancer diagnostics company Exact Sciences Corp. has acquired Ashion Analytics, a Phoenix-based biotechnology startup, to expand its oncology portfolio.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Ashion, a genomics testing company, was previously a wholly owned subsidiary of The Translational Genomics Research Institute in Phoenix, which is an affiliate of City of Hope. The startup was founded in 2014 and uses genomics and bioinformatics technologies to help oncologists identify molecularly targeted cancer therapies and clinical trials for patient care.
The company developed a genomic cancer test called GEM ExTra and will help incorporate TARDIS technology, which is used to detect small amounts of tumor DNA in blood, into Exact Sciences’ minimal residual disease, or MRD, testing.
Through the deal, Exact Sciences (Nasdaq: EXAS) is planning to have a 10-year research collaboration with the institute and City of Hope, a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. The deal is expected to finalize during the coming second quarter.
“This will be a groundbreaking research collaboration for TGen and City of Hope, as we continue to advance important scientific innovations and transformative treatment approaches for cancer care,” said Robert Stone, president and CEO of City of Hope, in a statement. “On the heels of our recent licensing agreement for our proprietary TARDIS technology, Exact Sciences is an ideal partner for this new collaboration, which aims to provide more information to physicians and their patients worldwide when diagnosing and treating cancer.”
Exact Sciences reported 2020 revenue of $1.49 billion, up from $876 million in 2019. In 2020, precision oncology accounted for $440 million of the company’s revenue, while its screening business, which includes the Cologuard take-home colon cancer test, accounted for $815 million.
The company’s Covid-19 testing operations in 2020 brought in $235.8 million in revenue. Exact Sciences began Covid-19 testing in March of 2020 and has since provided more than two million results for residents in all 50 states.
“Exact Sciences finished another transformative year by delivering strong fourth quarter results against a challenging backdrop because of the pandemic,” said Kevin Conroy, chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences, in a statement. “We are a leader in cancer diagnostics because of our people, scientific platform, and market-leading Cologuard and Oncotype tests. We aim to extend this leadership throughout the cancer continuum and bring additional tests to patients to help improve cancer outcomes.”