Exact Sciences Gains After Rival's Colorectal Cancer Screening Product Falls Short

Exact Sciences shares are higher. Analysts who follow the company contend biopsy results presented by Freenome didn't match the detection level of EXAS's Cologuard.
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Exact Sciences (EXAS) - Get Report shares leaped Wednesday as investors took note of a key rival's disappointing test results for a competing colorectal-cancer-screening product.

The stock at last check jumped 8.9% to $93.50 as investors reacted to data presented by closely held Freenome at a medical-research symposium. The stock has traded on Wednesday up as much as 12% at $96.20.

Analysts who cover Exact Sciences contend the biopsy test results presented by Freenome were unable to match the level of detection demonstrated by Exact Sciences' Cologuard product.

In the wake of the Freenome test results, Exact Sciences got a vote of confidence from analysts at William Blair, BTIG and Cowen, according to Bloomberg.

William Blair's Brian Weinstein contends investors at the moment should not put too much stock in the challenge to Exact Sciences colorectal-screening product. The results released by competitors aren't particularly compelling, either clinically or commercially, the analyst wrote.

Weinstein has an outperform rating on Exact Sciences' stock.

BTIG analyst Amanda Murphy wrote she is seeking additional details on Freenome's test results. In particular, Murphy said she's interested in "details in how many of the samples were case control versus prospective'" and whether Freenome, South San Francisco, "tested and trained on the same cohort and/or used cross-validation methods versus calculating results independently."

Murphy has a buy rating on Exact Sciences, with a price target of $127 a share.

And Cowen analyst Doug Schenkel wrote there is little for Exact Sciences to be worried about for the moment, though he likes Freenome's approach. 

The Cowen analyst has an outperform rating on Exact Sciences, with a price target of $130.