WED AM News: Exact Sciences sues Humana, new leader at Deltanoids

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— Exact Sciences is suing the national insurer Humana for its refusal to pay for the company’s non-invasive colon cancer test.

The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Kentucky this week, argues Humana has illegally refused to pay more than $800,000 worth of claims for the Cologuard test. The test analyzes stool samples for abnormal cells that signal colon cancer.

The FDA-approved test is already covered under Medicare, but the Madison biotech company is hoping to convince more commercial insurers to cover it.

On that end, the company said last month it hit a “major milestone” with getting Anthem BlueCross of California to cover the test for its 4.5 million enrollees, paving the way for similar agreements with more BlueCross insurers. It’s also expecting to sign five contracts by July.

But Exact Sciences argues that Humana, one of the nation’s largest insurers, should cover the Cologuard test, especially in the handful of states that have statutes mandating coverage for colon cancer screenings.

That’s because, the company argues, the Cologuard test is not “experimental or investigational.”

“Humana’s wholesale refusal to provide coverage for Cologuard is in clear violation of state and federal law, as well as Humana’s Plans, and has caused Exact to sustain substantial damages,” Exact Sciences wrote in a filing. “If Humana’s conduct is allowed to continue, it threatens irreparable harm to Exact as well as the patients who depend upon the test that Exact provides.”

See more on the lawsuit in a new story:

— Deltanoids Pharmaceuticals, co-founded by UW-Madison’s Hector DeLuca, is bringing a new CEO on board as it enters the third phase of drug testing.

The drug would help those with kidney disease on dialysis and targets secondary hyperparathyroidism, which causes bones to weaken through the loss of calcium.

Douglas Jermaseki, who’s spent 20 years in the industry, will replace DeLuca as CEO as the company starts a larger round of clinical trials. Jermaseki was previously senior vice president and general manager of Genzyme/Sanofi’s global renal business. That company had acquired a previous pharma company that DeLuca started.

DeLuca, who’s well known for his decades of work on Vitamin D, co-founded Deltanoids Pharmaceuticals in 1999 and will stay on as chairman and COO. The other co-founder, Margaret Clagett-Dame, will remain as executive vice president.

“As we now advance our lead program … to phase 3 clinical development and ultimately commercialization, I am pleased to be turning over the reins to Doug, who brings a 20 year track record of biopharmaceutical industry success and proven leadership in the renal space,” DeLuca said.

See the release:

— U-Haul data ranked Madison No. 4 in the number of people who used the truck company to come into the city rather than leave it.

U-Haul, which analyzed 1.7 million transactions across the U.S., warns its analysis doesn’t match up perfectly with population growth but still calls it a “strong gauge.” Madison Mayor Paul Soglin, meanwhile, said this ranking and others show “people are finding this to be an exciting place.”

About 52 percent of customers at Madison U-Haul locations were entering the city last year, not leaving it, the data found. The city also got 2 percent more arrivals compared to the year before, which earned it its designation in the U-Haul Top 10 U.S. Growth Cities for 2015.

See the release:

— Gov. Scott Walker and WEDC CEO Mark Hogan will address the 2016 Governor’s Conference on Economic Development tomorrow at Monona Terrace.

The conference kicks off at 5 p.m. today and ends Friday. Also speaking will be Kenneth, E. Poole, the CEO and president of the Center for Regional Economic Competitiveness, which did a study last year evaluating WEDC’s work.

Other highlights from the conference include panels on Wisconsin’s tax structure, transportation policy and immigration’s effects on the economy,

See the agenda:

— Publications International, Ltd. will close three facilities in southeast Wisconsin’s Yorkville due to its loss of a major contract.

The Illinois company told the state’s Department of Workforce Development it would shut the three facilities by June 30 and cut about 50 employees starting in April. The company attributed the closings to its “loss of the agreement to distribute goods for Phoenix International Publications.”


**REGISTER NOW Thursday, Feb. 11, luncheon: “State of the presidential race”**

On the day of the Democratic presidential debate in Milwaukee, brings together an expert panel to discuss the state of the presidential race. Participants include:

–Paul Maslin, national Democratic pollster with FM3;

–former Republican Congressman Scott Klug, public affairs director and co-chair of the Federal Public Affairs Practice at Foley & Lardner;

–and Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Washington bureau chief.

The event will be held at the UW-Milwaukee Innovation Accelerator, 1225 Discovery Parkway, Wauwatosa, Wis. 53226, located just east of Highway 45 and just north of the Medical College of Wisconsin off W. Watertown Plank Road.

Easy parking at the location.

Check-in begins at 11:30 a.m. The program goes from noon until 1 p.m.

$15 for program and buffet luncheon if paid in advance; payment at the door is $20.

Click here to register and pay the $15 fee (put “Feb. 11 prez event” in purpose of payment line):

Sponsors: UW-Milwaukee, Medical College of Wisconsin, and The Firm Consulting.



Low oil prices are a sinking feeling for some Wisconsin companies

BRP plans to create global training center in Racine

Publishing company to cut 50 jobs in Wisconsin

Quad/Graphics to close plants in Pennsylvania, Kansas

Committee asks Schimel for opinion on high-capacity wells

Badger Meter wins contract for publicly traded utility with 15 million users

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– State cattle numbers unchanged from last year

– Vander Kinter re-elected as WCO President


– Associated Bank wins J.D. power award


– Twin disc posts loss on weak oil and gas markets

– Rexnord profits up despite lower sales

– Why job cuts are not a major source of $500M Johnson Controls- Tyco merger savings


– Waupaca students attend business education program


– Ministry Saint Joseph’s Children’s Hospital marks 10 years


– Milwaukee County issues RFP for Lake Park Arch bridge


– Adelman travel acquires California agency

– Cue Cube moves from West Allis to Plymouth


– Milwaukee alderman resigns to work for nonprofit

– Milwaukee affordable housing projects compete for needed tax credits


– Developer proposes 13 story east side apartment office building

– New York apartment developer buys Pabst buildings

– Mitchell Leather building sold to apartment developer

RETAIL ^top^

– Jewel Food sells Waukesha land to Milwaukee developer hoping to lure special grocer

– Nearly 30 acres sold in Waukesha for future retail development

– Coffee and cycle shop planned near Hank Aaron state trail

– Pick N’ Save parent Kroger plans controversial change to how it sells beer and wine


– Cafe Corazon sets a tentative opening date for Bay View location

Milwaukee Film Festival sets 2016 dates, secures largest gift yet

– Downtown Wausau dining week debuts in spring

– Fond Du Lac Brewfest returns Saturday

Sheboygan Falls students thrive at coffee bar

– Council signs off on downtown microbrewery plan in Racine

SPORTS ^top^

– Milwaukee Brewers fans understand process-oriented rebuild, says GM Sterns

– Aaron Rodgers first guest on Adidas sponsored podcast where sports, business connect


– Fiserv reports tepid revenue growth on chip card lag


– Biz Blog: Walker targets big health care savings


See these and other press releases:

Davis Kuelthau Attorneys at Law: Dynamic Drinkware wins latest round of patent battle against National Graphics

Deltanoid Pharmaceuticals: Announces appointment of Douglas Jermasek as chief executive officer

U-Haul: U.S. growth city No. 4: The buzz over Madison continues to build

UW-Madison: Hosts discussion on bipartisan poverty proposals

UW-Madison: New coursework will prepare social workers for aging population

UW-Stout: Multicultural Student Services honored with Regents Diversity Award