Exact Sciences Corp. (Nasdaq: EXAS) and Thrive Earlier Detection Corp. (“Thrive”), a healthcare company dedicated to incorporating earlier cancer detection into routine medical care, today announced they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Exact Sciences will acquire Thrive for cash and stock consideration of up to $2.15 billion. The transaction was unanimously approved by both companies’ Boards of Directors and is anticipated to close during the first quarter of 2021, subject to regulatory approval and the satisfaction of other conditions.
Combining Thrive’s pioneering early-stage screening test, CancerSEEK, with Exact Sciences’ best-in-class scientific platform, clinical organization, and commercial infrastructure will establish Exact Sciences as a leading competitor in blood-based, multi-cancer screening. Thrive, with an early version of CancerSEEK, has conducted a first-of-its-kind 10,000-patient, prospective, interventional study in a real-world clinical setting. In this landmark study, using its mutation and protein biomarker approach, CancerSEEK achieved promising results detecting 10 different types of cancer, including seven with no recommended screening guidelines, with very few false positives. Bringing together highly complementary scientific approaches and the strengths of both organizations, Exact Sciences expects to develop a more accurate test and accelerate the widespread adoption of this potentially life-saving advancement.
“The acquisition of Thrive is a giant leap toward ensuring blood-based, multi-cancer screening becomes a reality and eventually, the standard of care. We couldn’t be more excited that Exact Sciences will be at the forefront of this incredible opportunity to serve patients,” said Kevin Conroy, Chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences. “We have long respected the Thrive team for their rigorous scientific approach, having participated in both funding rounds as an investor. We are proud to take our partnership to the next level by leveraging Exact Sciences’ established R&D team and highly accurate testing platform to augment development of CancerSEEK and accelerate its commercialization. By combining the expertise of both organizations, we believe we can bring this powerful technology to patients faster.”
“Thrive is driven by the knowledge that if cancer is caught early enough, it can be more effectively treated or even cured, and every patient deserves a chance for a better outcome.” said David Daly, CEO of Thrive. “Our team has made significant progress toward our mission and we are eager to collaborate with and benefit from Exact Sciences’ expertise, and believe that together we will enable broader, quicker adoption of our test. With the support of our ongoing partnership with Johns Hopkins University, we are energized to contribute meaningfully to our shared mission of advancing the fight against cancer and providing life-changing answers to patients in need.”
Creating a Leader in Blood-Based, Multi-Cancer Screening
Transforming the Future of Cancer Diagnostics with a Premier R&D Team: The Exact Sciences R&D team has robust clinical and evidence generation capabilities. This powerful team will be complemented and enhanced by the addition of Thrive’s R&D groups specializing in next- generation sequencing and bioinformatics in liquid biopsy. The combined R&D team’s impact will be amplified by Exact Sciences’ database of proprietary biomarkers, extensive blood sample biorepository, financial strength, and each company’s established partnerships with leading institutions, including Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins University.
Accelerating the Approval, Availability, and Adoption of Multi-Cancer Screening: Exact Sciences is uniquely positioned to support the development of Thrive’s CancerSEEK product and facilitate its success. By leveraging Exact Sciences’ proven clinical and regulatory teams, scaled laboratory and IT capabilities, and well-established primary care sales team and direct-to- consumer marketing experience, the Company expects to bring blood-based, multi-cancer screening to patients faster and with greater certainty.
Positioning Exact Sciences as a Leader in a $25 Billion+ Market and Demonstrating Capabilities as a Research and Commercialization Partner-of-Choice: The need to detect the deadliest cancers at earlier, more treatable stages is urgent, and multi-cancer screening can be an impactful solution. Thrive has conducted a large study in a real-world clinical setting, with promising results at a low false positive rate. By joining with Thrive, Exact Sciences would be well-positioned to compete in a significant U.S. market, estimated to be at least $25 billion. Exact Sciences is already home to two of the strongest and fastest-growing brands in cancer diagnostics, Cologuard® and Oncotype DX®. With the addition of Thrive, Exact Sciences would have the scientific rigor necessary to bring tests to patients at every step of their cancer journey, from screening to minimal residual disease, recurrence monitoring, and therapy selection. This rigor and Exact Sciences’ existing commercial strength further distinguish the Company as a leading developer and provider of innovative products across the cancer continuum.
Transaction Terms and Additional Information
Under the terms of the agreement, Thrive will receive total consideration of up to $2.15 billion, of which $1.7 billion would be payable at closing, comprised of 65% in Exact Sciences common stock and 35% in cash, subject to certain adjustments. An additional $450 million would be payable based upon the achievement of certain milestones related to the development and commercialization of a blood-based, multi-cancer screening test. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is anticipated to close during the first quarter of 2021. XMS Capital is serving as financial advisor to Exact Sciences, and K&L Gates is serving as legal advisor. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC is serving as financial advisor to Thrive, and Goodwin Procter LLP is serving as legal advisor.
Exact Sciences also Acquires Base Genomics to Extend its DNA Methylation Capabilities
Exact Sciences also announced today that it has acquired Base Genomics, an epigenetics company working to set a new standard in DNA methylation analysis, one of the most promising approaches to detecting cancer in its earliest stages. Base Genomics has a talented team and innovative technology enabling highly accurate DNA methylation analysis. It also allows for the analysis of DNA methylation and mutations in a single sample. Base Genomics’ differentiated technology is highly complementary to Exact Sciences’ existing methylation expertise and multi-marker approach. This acquisition will enhance Exact Sciences’ efforts in cancer diagnostics across the continuum. The terms of this transaction were disclosed in Form 10-Q, filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission earlier today. XMS Capital is serving as financial advisor to Exact Sciences, and K&L Gates is serving as legal advisor. William Blair is serving as financial advisor to Base Genomics, and Bristows LLP is serving as legal advisor.
Conference Call & Third Quarter 2020 Earnings Results
In a separate press release issued today, the Company announced its earnings results for the third quarter of 2020.
Exact Sciences will host a conference call today at 8:00 a.m. ET to discuss the transaction, as well as its third quarter 2020 earnings results. Associated presentation materials and an infographic regarding the transaction will be available on the investor relations section of Exact Sciences website at exactsciences.com/investor-relations/events-and-presentations/.
Date: Tuesday, October 27, 2020
Time: 8 a.m. ET, 7 a.m. CT, 5 a.m. PT
Webcast: The live webcast can be accessed at exactsciences.com/investor-relations/ Domestic callers, dial 833-235-7650; International callers, dial +1 647-689-4171; Access code for both domestic and international callers: 9947369