Rare Daily Staff

Roche has agreed to acquire the commercial gene therapy company Spark Therapeutics in an all cash traction valued at $4.8 billion.

Under the terms of the agreement, Roche will pay $114.50 per share, which represents a premium of 122 percent to Spark’s closing price on Feb. 22, 2019.

The boards of both Spark and Roche have unanimously approved the deal.

“As the only biotechnology company that has successfully commercialized a gene therapy for a genetic disease in the U.S., we have built unmatched competencies in the discovery, development and delivery of genetic medicines. But the needs of patients and families living with genetic diseases are immediate and vast,” said Jeffrey Marrazzo, CEO of Spark Therapeutics. “With its worldwide reach and extensive resources, Roche will help us accelerate the development of more gene therapies for more patients for more diseases and further expedite our vision of a world where no life is limited by genetic disease.”

Spark successfully brought to market Luxturna, a gene therapy to treat a specific form of inherited eye disease that causes blindness. The company also has a late-stage development programs in hemophilia A, which could represent a far larger market opportunity for the company.

“Spark Therapeutics’ proven expertise in the entire gene therapy value chain may offer important new opportunities for the treatment of serious diseases,” said Severin Schwan, CEO of Roche. “In particular, Spark’s hemophilia A program could become a new therapeutic option for people living with this disease.”

Spark Therapeutics will continue its operations in Philadelphia as an independent company within the Roche Group.

The transaction is subject to the expiration or termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 and other customary conditions. The closing of the transaction is expected to take place in the second quarter of 2019.

Photo: Jeffrey Marrazzo, CEO of Spark Therapeutic
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