FRI AM News: Exact Sciences study shows new cancer markers could improve screening test; WisBusiness: the Podcast with Clay Burdelik for Cockpit Mobile

— Recent study results from Exact Sciences show that newly identified markers for colon cancer could improve the company’s Cologuard test. 

The Madison-based cancer diagnostics company is partnering with the Mayo Clinic on research aimed at improving the precision of the test, which relies on stool samples rather than an invasive exam. 

That work hinges on new biomarkers, or clues indicating the presence of cancer or precancerous growths known as adenomas. The new markers were more accurate than the current test on the market. 

The findings were presented earlier this week at the annual meeting for the American College of Gastroenterology. Company Chairman and CEO Kevin Conroy says an improved test is in the works. 

“The data presented at ACG are promising,” Conroy said in a statement.  “This new study demonstrates the potential to make Cologuard, an accurate, convenient screening option, even better for patients and gives us confidence to move forward with a prospective study.” 

The new biomarkers demonstrated 92 percent sensitivity for colon cancer, compared to 88 percent for the current markers. And they showed 65 percent sensitivity to advanced adenomas, versus 53 percent for the current test.

See more: 

— This week’s episode of “WisBusiness: the Podcast” is with Clay Burdelik, a Madison-based entrepreneur who recently launched a new venture called Cockpit Mobile. 

He built his company’s software with a team of developers at StartingBlock Madison, an entrepreneurial hub and coworking space. 

The platform helps event organizers and workers coordinate tasks and communicate through a news feed. Burdelik and his team launched the company earlier in the summer, and have piloted at several music festivals including Austin City Limits, Voodoo Fest in New Orleans and Freakfest in Madison. 

In the podcast, Burdelik discusses a recent pivot he made after realizing his previous venture wasn’t viable. He talks about lessons learned from the recent pilots, and details plans to expand to other large outdoor events such as marathons and triathlons. 

“They’re great events that we can get set up really quickly,” he said. “They can be up and running in the environment in 10 minutes. Let’s say a 5K or 10k, it can really help them with their volunteer coordination.” 

Listen to the podcast here: 

See a full list of podcasts, sponsored by UW-Madison: 

— Alliant Energy’s planned addition of 1,000 megawatts of solar power by 2023 would cover about 2.7 percent of the state’s entire electricity consumption, according to a release from RENEW Wisconsin. 

The Madison-based utility’s ‘Powering What’s Next” report was announced yesterday, laying out a plan for adding the new solar energy generation to its mix over the next several years. For comparison, the state currently has 130 megawatts of solar power online. Earlier this year, about 500 megawatts of new solar energy were approved by state and county regulators. 

John Larsen, chairman, president and CEO of Alliant Energy Corporation, says the company is accelerating its transition to clean energy with a focus on renewable resources. 

The release from RENEW Wisconsin, a clean energy advocacy group, shows the planned new solar generation could provide enough electricity to cover the annual needs of 250,000 residential electric customers. The construction projects themselves would create about 1,600 jobs, and the land use would result in more than $5 million each year in lease payments to landowners. 

Tyler Huebner, the group’s executive director, notes the cost of solar power has decreased 80 percent in the past 10 years. 

“This is another important announcement signifying solar power’s time has come in Wisconsin,” he said in a statement. 

Scott Blankman, energy and air program director for Clean Wisconsin, is applauding the company’s investment. Still, he said the company “has ample room” to transition to clean energy even faster. 

“We encourage Alliant to join the state of Wisconsin and other utilities in committing to a goal of 100% clean energy by 2050 and to retire their remaining Columbia and Edgewater coal plants as soon as possible,” Blankman said. 

See more on the company’s plans: 

— U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin has introduced new legislation that would boost the value of premium tax credits for young adults buying health insurance. 

The Madison Dem is introducing the bill alongside U.S. Rep. Donald McEachin, a Virginia Democrat. The Advancing Youth Enrollment Act would boost the tax credit for adults ages 18 to 35 years old. 

A release shows that a young person enrolled in a silver level health plan through the marketplace would see about $55 per month in savings, or about $650 over the year. They would pay an estimated $98 per month for the plan, down from around $153 per month. Plus the bill would ensure they wouldn’t lose coverage due to a pre-existing condition, or forfeit benefits provided by the Affordable Care Act, according to the release. 

This year’s open enrollment period for begins today, and runs through Dec. 15. 

“As Americans begin signing up for quality health care coverage this week through the Affordable Care Act, we can do more to expand access and lower costs,” Baldwin said. “Making health care more affordable for younger adults with targeted tax credits can help ensure that they sign up for quality coverage, which will help strengthen the Marketplace and help lower costs for all.”

See the release: 

— Gov. Tony Evers will be with U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin in Milwaukee today for an event to kick off the 2019 open enrollment period of applications. 

An Evers statement on the event said state officials are going to announce a new campaign promoting enrollment and changes in insurance options. 

Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes and Department of Health Services Secretary Andrea Palm will also be present at the kickoff. 

— Promentis Pharmaceuticals has finished enrolling patients in a Phase 2 study for its drug candidate aimed at treating mental disorders including trichotillomania, which is characterized by repetitive hair-pulling. 

The Milwaukee-based drug company recently completed an earlier behavioral study, which found a “clear effect” on impulse control associated with the treatment. According to a release, the drug compound could also help treat other conditions associated with central nervous system disorders. 

Building on those results, the Phase 2 study aims to evaluate “efficacy, safety and tolerability” of three oral doses of the treatment in patients with trichotillomania. The double-blind randomized study will be conducted at 13 different centers, and will involve more than 120 patients split into four cohorts. Three will receive active doses, while the fourth will get a placebo. 

Variables to be studied include the severity of symptoms and general impulsivity, as well as other measures of mental health. 

See the release: 


# Bill would allow Wisconsin college athletes to be paid

# Milwaukee-area manufacturing sector continues downward slide

# Molson Coors rebranding won’t impact partnerships with Brewers, Bucks

# Governor declares energy emergency as farms, rural residents create high demand for propane



– Late corn harvest prompts energy emergency declaration


– New Berlin leaders oppose facility planned for Waukesha to tap Lake Michigan water

– Sides square off on bills to allow use of alternative piping materials


– Grassland Dairy makes contribution to UWRF dairy project


– After 5 years, white-nose syndrome is devastating Wisconsin bats


– Northwestern Mutual dividend increasing to $6 billion in 2020


– Ansay & Associates raises $10.5 million


– Lawsuit over Payne & Dolan, Zenith Tech share values dismissed after parties resolve dispute


– California power outages could boost Generac sales by $50 million this year


– Barrett: DNC is both challenge, opportunity for hosting G7 in Milwaukee


– Several lakes in the Wisconsin River Basin inch closer to new phosphorus standards


– Kroger drops ban on Visa credit cards


– Milwaukee beats Midwest peer cities in office rates for tech companies


– Green Bay’s Schneider National misses analysts’ projections for 3Q earnings


– PSC approves refinancing of shuttered coal plant but warns strategy not ‘a template’


<i>See these and other press releases: </i>

FZE Manufacturing Solutions, LLC: named latest Made in Wisconsin® company

Better Business Bureau: Consumers nationwide lose tens of thousands to Wisconsin-based company