Exact Sciences (EXAS) to Acquire Ashion
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Exact Sciences Corp. (Nasdaq: EXAS) today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Ashion Analytics, LLC (Ashion) from The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an affiliate of City of Hope. Ashion is a CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited sequencing lab based in Phoenix, Arizona with the genomics testing capabilities necessary to address the increasingly complex needs of clinical, academic, and biopharma customers focused on precision cancer treatments. The team at Ashion will help accelerate the development of Exact Sciences' precision oncology portfolio, including minimal residual disease (MRD) and other sequencing-based tests.
This acquisition will build upon the recent license of the TARDIS technology from TGen and strengthen the relationship between the institutions through a planned 10-year research collaboration. TARDIS is a highly sensitive, patient-specific liquid biopsy-based test that can detect small amounts of tumor DNA in blood for use in MRD testing.
"Exact Sciences continues to strengthen the robust foundation established for Oncotype to lead precision oncology," said Kevin Conroy, chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences. "We're excited to work with Ashion to bring the TARDIS technology to patients faster and continue to develop advancements in MRD testing. We're thrilled to collaborate with TGen and City of Hope, complementing our relationships with other world-renowned cancer research leaders including Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins University."
Ashion leverages the genetic information from a patient's tumor and normal genomes to provide industry-leading oncology solutions. Ashion developed GEM ExTra®, one of the most comprehensive genomic cancer tests available, and provides access to whole exome, matched germline, and transcriptome sequencing capabilities. The team at Ashion will be instrumental in incorporating the TARDIS technology into Exact Sciences' MRD test development.
Under the agreement, Exact Sciences would also enter a 10-year collaboration, bringing in the expertise of TGen and City of Hope, to develop differentiated MRD testing capabilities for patients and establish the clinical evidence necessary to drive adoption.
"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. "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."
"TGen scientists have been at the forefront of the convergence of science and technology to accelerate cancer innovation, leading to the launch of Ashion and its flagship test GEM ExTra," said Jeffrey M. Trent, Ph.D., TGen president and research director. "The research collaboration with Exact Sciences allows us to work alongside an industry leader in cancer diagnostics to help ensure future breakthroughs and technology developments will bring greater benefit to more patients at a faster pace."
TGen became a part of City of Hope in 2016 to accelerate the speed at which scientists and medical staff convert research discoveries into cures for patients. City of Hope is a National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center and a founding member of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, making it a national leader in advancing research and treatment protocols.
Additional InformationThe transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is anticipated to close during the second quarter of 2021. XMS Capital is serving as financial advisor to Exact Sciences, and K&L Gates is serving as legal advisor. Citi is serving as financial advisor to TGen and City of Hope, and Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, P.L.C. is serving as legal advisor.
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