Exact Sciences to acquire Thrive Earlier Detection for $2.15bn

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Exact Sciences, a US molecular diagnostics company, has agreed to acquire Thrive Earlier Detection in a cash cum stock deal worth up to $2.15 billion, in a move to become a leading player in blood-based, multi-cancer screening.

Based in Cambridge and Baltimore, Thrive Earlier Detection is a healthcare company focused on incorporating earlier cancer detection into routine medical care.

The healthcare company developed an early-stage screening test called CancerSEEK.

With an early version of the cancer screening test, Thrive Earlier Detection held a prospective, interventional study in a real-world clinical setting in 10,000 patients.

The CancerSEEK screening test by using its mutation and protein biomarker approach, is said to have achieved encouraging results by detecting 10 different types of cancer in the study. These include seven with no recommended screening guidelines, with very less false positives.

Exact Sciences, by bringing together highly complementary scientific approaches and the strengths of the two firms, anticipates developing a more accurate test and speed up the widespread adoption of the CancerSEEK screening test.

Exact Sciences acquisition of Thrive Earlier Detection.

Exact Sciences acquisition of Thrive Earlier Detection. Photo courtesy of Exact Sciences Corporation.

Kevin Conroy – Chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences said: “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.

“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.”

As per the terms of the deal, Thrive Earlier Detection will be paid $1.7 billion at the time of closing, which will be made up of 65% in Exact Sciences’ shares and 35% in cash. An additional payment of $450 million will depend upon the meeting of certain milestones associated with the development and commercialization of a blood-based, multi-cancer screening test.

David Daly – CEO of Thrive Earlier Detection said: “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.

“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.”

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval and the meeting of other conditions, is expected to be wrapped up during Q1 2021.

In a separate deal worth $410 million, Exact Sciences announced the acquisition of Base Genomics, an epigenetics company based in the UK, with an objective to extend its DNA methylation capabilities.

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