The key objective of Roche behind this strategic move is to reinforce its presence in gene therapy and make Philadelphia the center of excellence for gene therapy.
After 10-month investigation by the regulators, Roche, a Swiss multinational healthcare company, has finally acquired Spark Therapeutics, Inc., a gene therapy startup based in Philadelphia, for $4.3 billion. The key objective of the company behind this strategic move is to reinforce its presence in gene therapy and make Philadelphia the center of excellence for gene therapy.
On this important step, Severin Schwan, CEO of Roche, commented, “We strongly believe that Roche and Spark can together improve patients’ lives with the help of innovative gene therapies. This acquisition meets our commitment to bring transformational therapies as well as ground-breaking approaches to people with severe diseases across the globe.”
Delay in the Acquisition due to Regulatory Concerns
The deal was deferred due to the concerns among The Federal Trade Commission and Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in the UK over the potential of the deal to stifle competition in the hemophilia A treatment segment. Following 10-month review, the government authorities gave the go-ahead to the transaction after finding that the merger would not have a negative impact on the competition.
Spark Therapeutics to Remain an Independent Firm
Spark Therapeutics will continue functioning as an independent firm within the Roche Group. The official website of Spark currently has a pop-up affirming that it is part of the Roche Group. Jeffrey D. Marrazzo, Co-founder and CEO of Spark Therapeutics, stated, “We are heading towards a promising era of genetic medicines for the patients suffering with inherited diseases. Together, we have the capability to revolutionise the future of medicine and offer the medicines of tomorrow today.” Marrazzo expects that the company might expand into thousands of employees as the group keeps on expanding.