Phillips-Medisize and Exact Sciences Collaborate to Fight Colorectal Cancer
- End-to-end manufacturing ensures patient-focused product design, supply chain optimization and diversified production to speed time to market and reduce risk
- Rapid production scaling at U.S.-based manufacturing facilities yields 40,000 kits/week for FDA-approved noninvasive cancer screening test
- More than six million Americans have used Cologuard® for at-home colorectal cancer screening
HUDSON, WI – November 3, 2021 – Phillips-Medisize, a Molex company and leader in drug delivery, diagnostic and MedTech devices, announces the successful collaboration with Exact Sciences, a global leader in cancer diagnostics, to advance early cancer detection. Fueled by a relentless pursuit for smarter, earlier life-changing answers about cancer, Exact Sciences developed Cologuard®, the first and only FDA-approved noninvasive stool DNA screening test for colorectal cancer. This mission aligned seamlessly with Phillips-Medisize’s decades of innovation and world-class product design, development and manufacturing capabilities.
“We offered Exact Sciences a one-stop shop of advanced manufacturing,” said Paul Chaffin, president, Medical and Pharmaceutical Solutions, Molex. “From human-factors design, complex molding and reagent handling to volume manufacturing, finished packaging, as well as labeling and serialization, we have everything they needed to bring this innovative product to market. We brought a powerful mix of capabilities and expertise to help Exact Sciences change the game in the fight against colorectal cancer.”
According to the American Cancer Society, colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of death in women and men combined in the U.S., resulting in about 53,000 fatalities in 2021. When detected early, about 90% of stage I or stage II cases are treatable, yet one in three adults over age 50 are late on recommended colorectal cancer screening. Concurrently, new cases of colorectal cancer are increasing among young and middle-aged adults, which prompted the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) to recommend screenings starting at age 45.
Patient-Focused Product Design
Thanks to transparent teamwork between Exact Sciences and Phillips-Medisize, Cologuard is poised to help transform how Americans think about colorectal cancer screening. Together, the companies ensured every aspect of product performance met stringent usability and quality requirements. “Our focus and mission is really on the patient experience,” said Tammy Turek-Etienne, VP of Operations at Exact Sciences. “Everything we do is around quality and that end-user, so we can ensure they have a really great experience with the products.”
Because the simplicity and convenience of at-home testing are clear Cologuard differentiators, the collective group embraced human-factors design principles to prove patients of all ages and abilities could effectively open and close the different components within the collection kit. Phillips-Medisize developed new tooling to safeguard against inadvertent leaks while meeting specifications and tolerances required to produce the highest levels of product quality.
Reducing Supply Chain Risk
Unprecedented levels of supply chain flexibility enabled Exact Sciences to acquire all the parts, products and raw materials needed to rapidly scale kit production. Phillips-Medisize located and validated alternate supply sources, conducted risk assessments and forecasting, as well as sourcing and procurement plans to protect against unplanned disruptions. The organization’s ability to increase safety stock, hold spare parts and leverage its buying power helped Exact Sciences attain much-needed supplies and raw materials to meet rapidly increasing demand, such as resin.
During the pandemic, colorectal cancer screening rates plummeted as large swaths of the population postponed annual doctor’s visits and regular screenings. Resources were redeployed and production schedules were readjusted to accommodate volume changes and avoid overstocking.
Scaling for Rapid Growth
In supporting sustained growth while mitigating risk, Phillips-Medisize diversified its manufacturing footprint by transitioning a former Molex manufacturing site in Little Rock, Ark., to complement its medical manufacturing sites in Wisconsin.
Phillips-Medisize now operates three production lines at U.S.-based manufacturing facilities in Wisconsin and Arkansas where a combination of manual, semi-manual and highly automated manufacturing is used to produce 40,000 screening test kits each week. As a result, more than six million Americans have used Cologuard for convenient screening and early cancer detection.
Phillips-Medisize Brings Possibilities to Life
Phillips-Medisize, a Molex company, brings decades of innovation to leading healthcare and life science companies to develop groundbreaking solutions that help people live healthier, more productive lives. On average, the company commercializes 50 new products a year for customers, including the first-to-market FDA-registered drug-delivery device utilizing a connected health system. Molex brings decades of experience in advanced electronics, connectivity and sensor technologies to help transform medical and pharmaceutical solutions.
Molex is a global electronics leader committed to making the world a better, more-connected place. With presence in more than 40 countries, Molex enables transformative technology innovation in the automotive, data center, industrial automation, healthcare, 5G, cloud and consumer device industries. Through trusted customer and industry relationships, unrivaled engineering expertise, and product quality and reliability, Molex realizes the infinite potential of Creating Connections for Life. For more information, visit www.molex.com.