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Exact Sciences lab 1, State Journal photo (copy)

Exact Sciences is expanding its Cologuard processing lab on Badger Road, shown here, and is building a second lab just off Schroeder Road. 


Two local biotechs are raising a lot of money.

Exact Sciences Corp. -- whose Cologuard stool test screens for colorectal cancer -- says it is getting net proceeds of $671.3 million through the sale of $690 million in convertible senior notes -- a form of debt financing that can be turned into stock in the company at a later date.

The notes are at a rate of 1 percent interest a year, and when they mature in 2025, they can be converted to stock or cash at a price of $75.43 per share.

The secondary public offering closed on Wednesday. In the prospectus, Exact said it will use the proceeds for "general corporate and working capital purposes." Exact is working with the Mayo Clinic on a series of products to screen for cancer, in addition to Cologuard.

Arrowhead Pharmaceuticals plans to sell 10 million shares of its common stock at a price of $5.25 a share. The offering is expected to close on Jan. 22, and the underwriters will have a 30-day option to buy another 1.5 million shares at the same price.

The sale is expected to provide gross proceeds of $52.5 million, before expenses are subtracted.

Arrowhead's headquarters are in Pasadena, California, and its research and development team is in Madison; of its 100 employees, 80 are in Wisconsin.

The company is developing drugs using RNA interference to silence certain genes. Its targets include chronic hepatitis B, cardiovascular disease and renal cell carcinoma.

Contact Judy Newman at with tips and story suggestions.


Judy Newman is a business reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.