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Exact Sciences equipment, State Journal photo

Sample tubes are prepared for processing Cologuard colorectal cancer tests at Exact Sciences' lab on Badger Road. The Madison company's stock rose and then inched back down after announcing earlier this week that a blood test for liver cancer that Exact is developing with Mayo Clinic was more than 90 percent successful in detecting the cancers in a recent test.

Exact Sciences' stock hit a new record this week after the Madison company said the liver cancer blood test it is developing with Mayo Clinic detected more than 90 percent of the cancers in a recent study.

Exact shares climbed to $67.50 in early trading Wednesday, but then inched back down, ending the week at $63.26.

Exact and Mayo said, in their announcement Tuesday, a larger study is needed before they can apply for federal approval.

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William Blair analyst Brian Weinstein said he is "cautiously optimistic" about the early data and said such a test "would seem to offer a very good option" for the 3 million Americans with cirrhosis who should be tested every six months.

Release of the results was the second recent boost for Exact. Last week, the American Cancer Society recommended lowering the first screening for colorectal cancer to age 45, instead of the current age 50.

Baird analyst Catherine Schulte raised her price target for the stock from $58 to $66 a share, saying the change expands the market for Exact's Cologuard stool test for colorectal cancer by at least 20 percent, though that probably won't play out until about 2021.

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