A decade ago, Kevin Conroy took the CEO job at Exact Sciences, a cancer diagnostic firm on the brink of death. Five years later, the FDA greenlit the company’s first product, Cologuard, which marked the first non-invasive, stool-based DNA screening test approved for detecting colorectal cancer.
In the five years since then, Exact (NASDAQ: EXAS) says it has screened 2 million patientsfor the disease. The Madison, WI-based company has grown to more than 1,600 employees and almost $500 million in annual revenue, and it currently sports a market value of more than $11 billion.
“Looking back, it’s incredibly gratifying, particularly in light of the impact that we’re seeing today,” Conroy (pictured above) says in an interview, reflecting on Exact’s journey over the past 10 years.
Exact points to estimates that suggest Cologuard may have helped detect as many as 9,400 early-stage cancers and around 64,000 pre-cancerous polyps in patients to date, based on the cancer detection rate Cologuard has demonstrated in clinical testing. “That’s really moving the needle,” Conroy says.
Exact finds itself in an enviable position. The company’s sales swelled 71 percent last year to $454.5 million, and Exact executives and some outside financial analysts predict the firm’s annual revenues will surpass $700 million this year. Eventually, Conroy thinks Exact can reach $6 billion in annual sales of Cologuard and capture more than 40 percent of the colorectal cancer screening market in the U.S. Read the full story here.