Exact Sciences planning $350 million expansion in Madison, promising more than 1,300 new jobs


MADISON, Wis. — Exact Sciences is getting ready to invest another $350 million into its Madison campuses, potentially creating more than 1,300 jobs, the company and state leaders announced Thursday morning.

The expansion project could get a helping hand from the state in the form of an additional $18.5 million in Enterprise Zone tax credits from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation as long as Exact Sciences meets capital investment and job creation goals by 2025.

WEDC had previously given the company $9 million in Enterprise Zone tax credits, but recently approved increasing those credits up to $27.5 million if the company creates at least 1,300 new jobs and invests at least $350 million in capital expenses in the next three years.

“Exact Sciences is an example of a company with deep Wisconsin roots that, with this investment, is committing to its future in our state,” WEDC secretary and CEO Missy Hughes said. “As the company has grown to add operations around the world, Exact Sciences could have chosen to expand in other states but chose Wisconsin because of our outstanding, well-educated workers, excellent community infrastructure and support for its research and health care missions.”

The company is most well-known for its colon cancer screening kit, Cologuard. Officials at the company say the expansion will help continue its work of trying to eradicate cancer across the world while maintaining its roots in Wisconsin.

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“Continued investments in our Wisconsin-based people and facilities will accelerate the development of new cancer tests and ensure we continue providing world-class service and critical answers to patients,” Exact Sciences chairman and CEO Kevin Conroy said in a statement.

The company says its plans for expansion include investments into a brand-new Research and Development Center of Excellence, laboratory space, and additional warehouse space. The lab and warehouse expansions will be at the Discovery Campus on Exact Lane off of Schroeder Road on Madison’s west side, while the new Research and Development center will be built next to the corporate headquarters inside UW Research Park.

“There’s a need now,” Conroy said. “There’s tremendous growth that is going on.”

Leaders from Exact Sciences said the expansion is a commitment to the city that helped grow the company from just a few employees in 2009 to 3,500.

“One way to do that is by continuing to invest here,” Conroy said.

Many of the jobs will be entry-level with plenty of training, something WEDC is excited to see.

“Exact Sciences not only has a great mission but their business model is very aggressive and very exciting, so it’s important to look at that company and say we want them here in Wisconsin,” Hughes said.

The company has performed beyond cancer research as well, helping the state process tens of thousands of COVID-19 tests during the pandemic. This expansion, though, is about a key goal, one the company has focused and expanded on since day one.

“Unfortunately, cancer remains the number one killer of people under the age of 85, and our goal is to eradicate cancer,” Conroy said.