In a seemingly endless war on cancer, the best weapon remains early detection, according to Graham Lidgard, senior vice president of R&D at Exact Sciences Corp.
For Lidgard, and the rest of the team at the Madison, Wisc.-based molecular diagnostics maker, the battlefield is colorectal cancer, 1 of the most common, and deadliest, cancers in the world. Colorectal cancer primarily affects people age 50 and older, and among cancers that affect both men and women, it is the 3rd most common cancer and the 2nd leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Lidgard has been with the team at Exact Sciences since 2009, when the company was down to a skeleton crew of true believers through its triumphant rise in 2014 when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the company’s flagship product, Cologuard.
The Cologuard is a stool-based colorectal screening test that detects the presence of red blood cells and DNA mutations that may indicate the presence of certain kinds of abnormal growths that may be cancers such as colon cancer or precursors to cancer. The company says its test is 92% accurate for detecting cancer and that the test will help save thousands of lives in the U.S. by helping to detect this killer cancer earlier.
In this episode of DeviceTalks, MassDevice publisher Brian Johnson sits down with Lidgard to discuss the process behind bringing the Cologuard to market, his distinguished career, where the war on cancer stands today and why the team at Exact Sciences has an endless supply of poop jokes at their disposal.
Did you know that you DeviceTalks is also a live event? Check out our website to find out how you can participate in a live taping of this terrific podcast. Check out the lineup for our upcoming DeviceTalks West show in Irvine, California on December 9, 2015.