Roche Completes $4.3 Billion Acquisition of Spark Therapeutics After FTC Investigation

December 17, 2019

The deal was approved by the Federal Trade Commission following a 10-month investigation.

Roche announced on Dec. 17, 2019 that it has completed its $4.3-billion acquisition of Spark Therapeutics, a Philadelphia, PA-based company focused on gene therapies, after the deal was approved by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) following a 10-month investigation.

Roche will acquire the company for $114.50 per share in an all-cash transaction, which represents 122% to Spark Therapeutics’ closing price, according to a Feb. 25, 2019 press release. Under the agreement, Roche will acquire all outstanding shares of Spark Therapeutics common stock, and Spark Therapeutics will file a recommendation statement containing the unanimous recommendation of the Spark Therapeutics board that Spark Therapeutics’ shareholders tender their shares to Roche.

The acquisition gives Roche access to Spark Therapeutics’ lead clinical asset, SPK-8011, a gene therapy for the treatment of hemophilia A, among other gene therapies in development, according to the earlier press release.

“We are excited about this important milestone because we believe that together, Roche and Spark will be able to significantly improve the lives of patients through innovative gene therapies,” said Severin Schwan, CEO of Roche, in the Dec. 17, 2019 company press release. “This acquisition supports our long-lasting commitment to bringing transformational therapies and innovative approaches to people around the world with serious diseases.”

“Today ushers in a new and promising era in the development of genetic medicines for patients and families living with inherited diseases and beyond,” added Jeffrey D. Marrazzo, co-founder and CEO of Spark Therapeutics, in the December press release. “Spark and Roche share an ethos of imagining the unimaginable. Together, we have the potential to change the future of medicine and deliver the medicines of tomorrow today. We couldn’t be more thrilled about what’s next.”

News of the acquisition came after the FTC released a Commission Statement on Dec. 16, 2019 regarding a 10-month investigation into the acquisition to determine if the merger would lessen potential competition in the US market for hemophilia A therapies.

According to an FTC statement, the organization concluded that the merger “did not indicate that Roche would have the incentive to delay or terminate Spark’s developmental effort for its hemophilia A gene therapy, or that the acquisition would affect Roche’s incentives regarding [its hemophilia treatment drug] Hemlibra” and the investigation was closed with a 5-0 vote.

Source: Roche (February 2019), Roche (December 2019), FTC