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Exact Sciences, Jefferson Health to Study Blood-Based Multicancer Early Detection Test

NEW YORK – Exact Sciences and Jefferson Health hospital said on Thursday that they will partner to conduct research on Exact's new blood-based, multicancer earlier detection, or MCED, test.

The partners will survey doctors and patients from diverse populations across the Jefferson health system in order to evaluate MCED test safety and efficacy and to help determine how to facilitate the implementation of effective MCED testing in the future, Exact said.

Financial and other terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.

Jefferson has a primary care network of more than 100 practices across southeastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey, serving over 125,000 adults who are eligible for cancer screening. The partners said they have organized a learning community through the health system to determine the impact of MCED testing on population health, including health system leaders, primary care physicians, patients, clinical specialists, care coordinators, population health scientists, administrators, information technology personnel, and community representatives, in collaboration with Jefferson's Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center.

Jefferson also plans to participate in Exact's US Food and Drug Administration registration study for the MCED test, and the partners said they will publish the results of their work.

"We welcome the Exact Sciences team to our learning community and look forward to participating in research that allows us to test and learn about MCED testing, including how to implement effective advances in cancer screening," Jefferson President Bruce Meyer said in a statement. "We have a shared belief that earlier detection is the best way to bend the cancer mortality curve. We can make this vision a reality by working together to develop clinical pathways which will ultimately be used to deliver new early cancer detection technology and provide related services to the people we serve."

Exact has been building its cancer diagnostic capabilities for a while. In February, the company acquired sequencing lab Ashion Analytics from the Translational Genomics Research Institute, or TGen, as part of a strategy to build an end-to-end cancer testing pipeline, including diagnostics for minimal residual disease. That acquisition came one month after the company secured a worldwide exclusive license to the Targeted Digital Sequencing liquid biopsy method from TGen for use in MRD testing.