Exact Sciences, the wildly successful cancer testing firm based on Mayo Clinic technology, is returning to Rochester.

Exact-Sciences Logo

Exacts Sciences, the maker of the colorectal cancer test called Cologuard, is based in Madison, Wis. It has 2,300 employees, including 1,800 in the Madison area.

The test is based on research by Mayo Clinic’s Dr. David A. Ahlquist and his laboratory.

While Exact Sciences licensed the technology from Mayo Clinic in 2009 and 2012 for Cologuard, the company has never had a significant presence in Rochester. That is despite active recruiting by Rochester economic development leaders and Mayo Clinic.

Exact Sciences is a prime example of the type of job-generating company that Rochester and Mayo Clinic have been trying to lure to town or grow here for years with the Minnesota BioBusiness Center and various incubators.

Now, Exact Sciences has confirmed plans to open an office here as part of the Destination Medical Center initiative.

Exact's Director of Public Relations and Corporate Communications Cara Connelly was asked this week if her firm might be looking to build a large lab here. She responded that while the planned lab will be located in California, Exact does have plans for Rochester.

"We have office space at One Discovery Square, but we have not moved into that space ... ," she wrote.

The Twin Cities-based M.A. Mortenson Co. built the 89,000-square-foot One Discovery Square complex on land owned by Mayo Clinic at the corner of Fourth Street and Second Avenue Southwest. The project was spearheaded by Mortenson project manager Jeremy Jacobs, who left the company in July.

Cameron Snyder, Mortenson's PR manager, did not respond to questions about Exact Sciences on Wednesday.

Exact Sciences joins the tenant list that includes Mayo Clinic, the University of Minnesota Rochester, Boston Scientific, Royal Philips, Epic Systems of Wisconsin and Café Steam @ Discovery Square.

While it hasn’t been officially announced, building permits also show a joint partnership between Mayo Clinic and a Chinese firm called WuXi Diagnostics is taking space on the third floor.

Jeff Kiger tracks business action in Rochester and southeastern Minnesota every day in Heard on the Street. Send tips to jkiger@postbulletin.com, or via Twitter to @whereskiger. You can call him at 285-7798.

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