Exact Sciences' Cologuard Receives CMS National Coverage

The non-invasive nature of the test makes it a very attractive alternative to the uncomfortable colonoscopy used to detect colorectal cancer. In a New England Journal of Medicine study of 10,000 patients, the test identified 92% of colorectal cancers in average-risk patients and 42% of polyps.

A new molecular diagnostic approved by Medicare and Medicaid is among the first non-invasive alternatives to colonoscopies, a potential boon for patients and payers but also a new piece of the personalization puzzle to manage.

Shares of Madison, Wisconsin-based Exact Sciences soared 36% on Friday, October 10th, after the biotech announced that its Cologuard stool-based colon cancer test received national coverage approval from CMS.

The at-home screening tool is the first Medicare-covered stool-based DNA test for detecting colon cancer and pre-colon cancer, approved once every 3 years for beneficiaries ages 50 to 85 who are asymptomatic and at average risk of the disease, with no family history or presence of inflammatory bowel diseases.

"Colorectal cancer is often considered the most preventable, yet least prevented cancer due to the lack of patient compliance with screening,” said Kevin Conroy, Exact Sciences president and CEO.

It is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in the US but it does have a 90% 5-year survival rate when the disease is detected in early stages.

Read the article on Heathcare Payer News: http://bit.ly/1vvlvKA