Exact, Spectrum, PerBlue, & More: This Week’s Wisconsin Watchlist

It was a newsy week for Wisconsin’s innovation community. Catch up on some of the major happenings with these recent headlines:

—Exact Sciences’ (NASDAQ: EXAS) stock price finished the trading day on Wednesday down nearly 10 percent after the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) published the results of a study evaluating a liquid biopsy test for colorectal cancer. The study showed the test was up to 88 percent accurate, ASCO said. Madison-based Exact’s flagship product is Cologuard, a stool-based DNA test for colorectal cancer.

According to ASCO, the study took place in Taiwan and involved 620 adult patients, more than 70 percent of whom had either pre-cancerous growths or early to late-stage colorectal cancer. Catherine Ramsey Schulte, a senior research analyst at Robert W. Baird & Co., wrote in a research note that Exact enrolled 9,989 patients in its pivotal “DeeP-C” clinical study, and only 8 percent of them had pre-cancer or cancer. Control patients represented a relatively small percentage of participants in the Taiwanese study, which suggests that “the results in a ‘real-world’ setting, with 92 percent to 94 percent healthy patients, would not be as favorable” as the 620-patient study, Benchmark analyst Raymond Myers wrote in a separate research note.

—Middleton-based Spectrum Brands (NYSE: SPB) said it will sell its battery and lighting business to Energizer Holdings (NYSE: ENR) for $2 billion in cash. The deal is expected to close before the end of 2018, according to a news release. Spectrum said it expects to use some of the proceeds from the sale to “reduce debt, reinvest in its core businesses, both organically and through bolt-on acquisitions, and repurchase shares.” The company’s other business divisions are hardware and home improvement; pet, home, and garden; and automobile care.

—Disney (NYSE: DIS) said Madison-based PerBlue is one of four firms the California company is working with to develop mobile games based on Disney franchises, VentureBeat reported. Disney plans to later reveal the games PerBlue and the other three publishers are working on, according to the report, though it did not specify a timeline for announcing the information.

—Milwaukee-based Hyde Sportswear will pitch its flagship product the evening of Sunday Jan. 21 on ABC’s “Shark Tank.” Hyde has developed an ultra-thin life vest for fishermen, paddlers, and others who spend time on the water, The vest, known as Wingman, lists for $249 on the startup’s website. Hyde beat out dozens of startups to win the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest in 2016.

—Nordic, a Madison-based consulting firm that specializes in installations of electronic health records software applications, acquired a business line of Chicago-based The Claro Group focused on billing patients and their insurers for care. Cathy Smith and Shannon Yasseri joined Nordic from Claro following the partial acquisition; both now have the title “managing director of revenue cycle transformation” at the Wisconsin company. A spokesperson for Nordic declined to disclose specific financial terms of the deal.

—Staying in healthcare technology, we posted an interview with Karen DeSalvo, who served as the National Coordinator for Health IT from 2014 to 2016 under President Barack Obama. DeSalvo recently joined the faculty at the Dell Medical School at the University of Texas at Austin. She discussed the perception that patients’ health information is a commodity controlled by the hospitals and clinics where they receive care, the need for a “cloud-based and more data-focused environment,” and other topics.

—Milwaukee-based Scanalytics is developing sensors capable of reading shoppers’ unique foot compressions and measuring how long they stand in front of store displays in order to offer coupons to certain customers, The Associated Press reported. Scanalytics develops thin, Internet-connected floor mats and complementary software … Next Page »

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