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Wisconsin Roundup: Exact Sciences, GE Healthcare, Tricast & More

Xconomy Wisconsin — 

Here are some of the past week’s major headlines from Wisconsin’s tech and innovation community:

—Exact Sciences (NASDAQ: EXAS) announced in a press release that an advisory panel from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services unanimously voted to continue reimbursing the company’s non-invasive, stool-based DNA colorectal cancer screening test, known as Cologuard, at $492.72 a test. Shares in the Madison-based company jumped 6.8 percent on the news Wednesday, Seeking Alpha reported.

—In a press release, Tricast revealed the two funds that participated in its recent $3.3 million fundraising round: Blue Heron Capital, of Wakefield, MA, and Richmond, VA-based Brook Venture Partners. Tricast CEO Greg Rucinski told Xconomy some of the new cash will go toward adding staff, including software developers. The Milwaukee-area business, which Rucinski founded in 1997, has primarily been a health insurance auditor and consultant but last year began selling analytics software.

—GE Healthcare received FDA clearance for its low-dose computed tomography (CT) protocol to screen for lung cancer, the Milwaukee-area company said in a press release. It’s the first time the FDA has cleared a CT device for any type of screening indication, according to the release. GE Healthcare developed both the screening software and the CT machines on which it runs.

—Mortara broke ground on a new 64,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution facility in Milwaukee, where the medical device manufacturer is headquartered. According to a press release from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. (WEDC), Mortara has added 145 employees since May 2013 and expects to increase its staff to 550 from the current 400 by 2020. WEDC approved up to $700,000 in state tax credits over the next five years for the project.

—The Water Council announced the Pilot Deployment Program, a two-year, $600,000 initiative to advance new clean water technologies, the Milwaukee Business Journal reported. The Fund for Lake Michigan, which is backed by Milwaukee-based We Energies, and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District are partnering with The Water Council on the project.

—Citing “budgetary constraints,” the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business suspended the G. Steven Burrill Business Plan Competition for 2016. Past winners of the contest, which started in 1998, include EatStreet, an online food-ordering startup, and Virent, an advanced biofuels company. Both companies are based in Madison. The competition’s namesake, a San Francisco-based venture capitalist, has faced a host of legal woes over the last year.

The FDA cleared Madison-based healthtech startup HealthMyne’s imaging and clinical decision support software. “Our software is production-ready and can be legally sold today,” says Mark Gehring, HealthMyne’s chief strategy officer, though the company does not plan to start signing up customers until December or early 2016.