January 14, 2020

Unlocking the Future of Cancer Diagnostics: Powerful Decision-Making to Enhance Patient Impact

Our team at Exact Sciences made an important decision in the fight against cancer last year. We joined forces with Genomic Health, a trailblazer in precision oncology, to deliver life-changing innovations in cancer diagnostics. We aim to help people make more informed decisions across the cancer continuum – from earlier detection to smarter answers in treatment guidance.

Since news of our combination became public, many have asked about the guiding tenets that drove our decision to unite our two organizations. How did we achieve this? Three strategic principles kept us moving forward: focus on our long-term vision that creates value for both patients and shareholders, belief that we could do more for patients together, and commitment to financial preparedness. The same principles can be applied to impactful decision-making in other business situations and will continue to guide Exact Sciences’ progress in the next decade.

1. Focus on a long-term vision

A long-term vision is critical to keeping a team aligned when making important decisions. Our vision is to make a positive impact on the lives of patients by revolutionizing the way cancer is detected and treated, and the Genomic Health team shared this mission.

Genomic Health’s commitment to patients stood out most. They spoke humbly and powerfully about how their Oncotype DX® tests were helping patients personalize their cancer treatment. More than 1 million patients had benefited from the tests by early 2019, and their stories moved us to think about what our teams could accomplish if they were someday brought together.

When “someday” turned into “today” last year, we took action – combining our companies in service of millions of patients who could benefit from our shared vision.

2. Identify shared values

Shared values are a great indicator of impact-multiplying potential. When our teams came together to talk about our internal cultures, we uncovered that both organizations embraced, and practiced daily, our stated values of integrity, teamwork, accountability, quality, and innovation. These shared values supported our belief that our two companies would be stronger as one.

Equally important, our work ethic and scientific approaches aligned. We’ve long shared a commitment to scientific rigor, as evidenced by our deep expertise and experience developing innovative cancer diagnostic tools. Both of our organizations supported our diagnostic tests with large, 10,000-patient studies (DeeP-C and TAILORx). When values are aligned, styles match, and complementary capabilities exist, teams have an opportunity to make a greater impact, together.

3. Be financially prepared

To help us achieve our goal of identifying new and improved solutions in cancer diagnostics, we needed to be financially prepared when the right opportunity arose. A strong focus on our financials allowed us to credibly approach Genomic Health’s management team and board when the timing was right.

Together, we now have the research and development capabilities, sales and marketing teams, and laboratory and international infrastructure necessary to aim towards our shared vision. In short, being financially prepared enabled us to significantly enhance our joint capabilities.

Building on the platform of two of the most successful brands in diagnostics, Cologuard® and Oncotype DX®, we are positioned to help patients and providers navigate the cancer journey – and we’re able to do this in the U.S. and abroad, extending our capabilities and collaborations around the world.

Grounded in our three strategic principles – focusing on our long-term vision, identifying shared values, and always being prepared financially - we knew we were ready to unlock the future of the industry. Across every sector, teams who root their decision-making in these guiding tenets can help lead the way in the new decade and beyond.