Exact Sciences

Exact Sciences plans to create a research and development center at 501 Charmany Drive in University Research Park. The cancer screening test company dropped earlier plans to anchor the Judge Doyle Square project Downtown.

Exact Sciences Corp. confirmed Wednesday the Madison cancer screening test company recently eliminated 29 positions across the U.S., including 12 in the Madison area.

Exact Sciences had been growing rapidly since federal agencies gave the go-ahead a year-and-a-half ago to market Cologuard, the non-invasive DNA stool test for colorectal cancer.

“We are focusing on our core business in order to efficiently drive Cologuard’s growth and meet our goals for this year,” spokesman J.P. Fielder said. “In doing so, we reduced positions and programs in order to invest in targeted areas.”

Fielder said the job reduction “impacted a small portion of our overall team.”

Exact Sciences has more than 500 employees at its Madison offices and town of Madison processing labs, and a total of more than 750 employees nationwide, he said.

In February 2015, the company had 430 employees, and a year before that, in early 2014, Exact had a staff of 110.

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Meanwhile, the company is looking to hire more than 40 people, about half of them to fill vacancies and the other half, new positions, Fielder said.

Exact Sciences reported last week that revenue in the first quarter of 2016 tripled that of the same quarter last year and use of Cologuard nearly quadrupled over the year-ago level, but the company’s net loss grew, as well.

Exact Sciences had been favored last year as an anchor tenant for the Judge Doyle Square redevelopment project Downtown but later pulled out of the plans and decided instead to expand near its current location within University Research Park, on the West Side.

The company’s stock price had taken a hit after the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force named Cologuard as an alternative test for colorectal cancer, useful in “select clinical circumstances,” rather than one of the main screening tests suggested.

Exact Sciences’ stock has ranged from $4.67 to $32.85 a share over the past year. It closed Wednesday at $5.69.

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