Exact Sciences Corporation (NASDAQ:EXAS) announced that data supporting its stool DNA (sDNA) screening platform for colorectal cancer will be presented in three posters at the American College of Gastroenterology’s Annual Scientific Meeting (ACG 2015), taking place October 16-21 in Honolulu.

It is estimated that colorectal cancer will be responsible for more than 50,000 deaths in the United States this year. The American Cancer Societyrecommends that Americans age 50 and older get screened for the disease. Unfortunately, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 42 percent are not current on their screening. One of the key barriers to screening compliance is that while colonoscopy is highly effective, many patients are unable or unwilling to undergo the procedure. Approved last year by the FDA, Exact Sciences’ Cologuard® is a noninvasive, patient-friendly, at-home screening test that uses advanced sDNA technology to analyze a patient-provided stool sample for the presence of altered DNA from abnormal cancerous or precancerous cells known to be associated with colon cancer and blood.

  • The first poster, Colorectal Cancer Screening with Multi-target stool DNA-based Testing Previous Screening History of the Initial Patient Cohort, shows that a clinically significant proportion of initial Cologuard users, 42 percent, age 50-74, the primary target age for screening , reported no previous colorectal cancer screening, while 36 percent of users over all were similarly unscreened previously. These data suggest that the availability of Cologuard as a screening option may help increase the number of patients who get screened.
  • In a second poster, Multi-target stool DNA based Colorectal Screening Modeling the Impact of Inter-test Interval on Clinical Effectiveness,researchers looked at the decrease in colorectal cancer incidence and colorectal cancer death with sDNA screening compared to colonoscopy at various intervals. The study found that screening with Cologuard at three-year intervals could reduce colorectal cancer death by 67 percent.
  • In a third poster, Preferences for Colorectal Screening Tests Among a Previously Unscreened Population, a newly completed patient preference study, corroborating the finding of the two previously published preference studies, finds that screen-naïve patients, who intend to be screened within the next year, prefer colonoscopy (40 percent) and multi-target sDNA (35 percent) significantly more often than FOBT or FIT (9-10 percent) or flexile sigmoidoscopy (4 percent). There was no significant preference difference between colonoscopy and multi-target sDNA, but the difference between colonoscopy and multi-target sDNA compared to the other three tests was significant.

“The strong clinical data presented today at ACG clearly demonstrate the positive impact of sDNA technology on improved patient compliance with critical and life-saving colon cancer screening,” said Kevin Conroy, Chairman and CEO of Exact Sciences. “Exact Sciences is committed to continuing to build on the growing body of evidence validating Cologuard as an important new tool for the early detection of colorectal cancer and we look forward to sharing these developments with the clinical community.” (Original Source)

Shares of Exact Sciences Corp closed last Friday at $7.99. EXAS has a 1-year high of $32.85 and a 1-year low of $6.79. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $16.63 and its 200-day moving average is $22.90.

On the ratings front, Exact Sciences has been the subject of a number of recent research reports. In a report issued on October 7, Mizuho analyst Eric Criscuoloare reiterated a Buy rating on EXAS, with a price target of $12, which implies an upside of 50.2% from current levels. Separately, on October 6, Goldman Sachs’ Isaac Ro reiterated a Hold rating on the stock and has a price target of $11.

According to TipRanks.com, which ranks over 7,500 financial analysts and bloggers to gauge the performance of their past recommendations, Eric Criscuoloare and Isaac Ro have a total average return of -8.3% and -3.8% respectively. Criscuoloare has a success rate of 50.0% and is ranked #2848 out of 3788 analysts, while Ro has a success rate of 50.0% and is ranked #3197.

Overall, 4 research analysts have assigned a Hold rating and 4 research analysts have given a Buy rating to the stock. When considering if perhaps the stock is under or overvalued, the average price target is $20.00 which is 150.3% above where the stock closed last Friday.

Exact Sciences Corp is a molecular diagnostics company currently focused on the early detection and prevention of colorectal cancer. It has developed a noninvasive, patient friendly screening test called Cologuard(R).