August 22, 2018 / 10:04 AM / a month ago

Exact Sciences signs marketing deal with Pfizer for cancer test

Aug 22 (Reuters) - Exact Sciences Corp said on Wednesday Pfizer Inc would share marketing expenses and co-promote the company's stool screening test for colorectal cancer, in a bid to boost sales of the product.

The companies will invest a combined $48 million, shared equally, next year to market the non-invasive DNA screening test Cologuard, while Pfizer will receive 50 percent of gross profit above an agreed-upon baseline, Exact Sciences Chief Executive Officer Kevin Conroy told Reuters in an interview.

"The marketing effort will begin in the fourth quarter (and) we expect the impact (of it) to occur next year," Conroy said.

The company is currently investing about $80 million in advertising and promoting the product, he said.

The diagnostics firm will continue to manufacture the test, with Pfizer chipping in with its sales force to boost marketing to primary care clinics and large hospitals.

Approved in the United States in 2014 to screen adults aged 50 or older at average risk for colorectal cancer, sales of the diagnostic test jumped 78 percent to nearly $103 million in the latest reported quarter.

Earlier this year, the American Cancer Society recommended people at risk of the disease start regular screening at 45 rather than 50, as studies increasingly show a rise in cases among younger individuals.

Colorectal cancer is the third-leading cause of cancer-related deaths in men and women in the United States and is expected to cause about 50,630 deaths in 2018.

Reporting by Tamara Mathias in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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