Skip to content

10 Takeaways from Roche’s $4.8 Billion Offer to Acquire Spark Therapeutics

10 Takeaways from Roche’s $4.8 Billion Offer to Acquire Spark Therapeutics

Here are 10 things to know about Roche’s $4.8 billion bid to acquire Spark Therapeutics.

  1. Roche’s $114.5-a-share offer is a 122% premium over the closing price of Spark’s stock ($51.54) on February 22. On the day the offer was announced, Spark’s shares shot up to $113.48.
  2. In 2018, Spark shipped 75 vials of $425,000-per-eye Luxturna (voretigene neparvovec-rzyl) for treatment of biallelic RPE65 mutation-associated retinal dystrophy, the first Food and Drug Administration-approved treatment for a retinal disease and the first approved adeno-associated virus vector gene therapy.
  3. Gene therapy stocks in the ophthalmology space caught fire after the Roche-Spark deal was announced, led by REGENXBIO, which leapt 16% from $46.53 to $54.01 a share. Other gainers were:
  4. Investors Business Daily reported that other gene therapy biotech stocks skyrocketed on the news. uniQure jumped 34.3%, Audentes Therapeutics increased 11.4%, Solid Biosciences leapt 9.6%, and BioMarin Pharmaceutical rose 4%.
  5. In a note to clients, Leerink analyst Joseph Schwartz stated, “Although the price that Roche is paying for Spark seems steep, we see three potential rationales driving the deal: Attraction to genetic retinal diseases, fortification of hemophilia franchise or appreciation of in-house gene therapy manufacturing capabilities.”
  6. Roche may be more interested in Spark’s portfolio of the three hemophilia programs Spark now has in clinical trials. Commenting on the transaction, Roche CEO Severin Schwan said, “Spark Therapeutics’ proven expertise in the entire gene therapy value chain may offer important new opportunities for the treatment of serious diseases. In particular, Spark Therapeutics’ hemophilia A program could become a new therapeutic option for people living with this disease.”
  7. The acquisition could also give Roche a hedge in ophthalmology against an increasingly competitive market for anti-VEGF treatments for age-related macular degeneration , in which its Genentech unit is a major player with Lucentis. This year, Novartis is expected to rock the market with approval of brolucizumab expected. Leerink’s Schwartz said, “The competitive landscape for [wet] AMD is intensifying from approved agents, potential long-acting agents or curative gene therapy that constrain the economic viability of Lucentis. Luxturna could be a segue to ignite Roche’s ophthalmology business.”
  8. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia invested $33 million in Spark since 2013. It stands to collect about $430 million in the Roche buyout, a 1,200% return on profit.
  9. Spark CEO Jeffrey Marrazzo’s shares are valued at approximately $70 million.
  10. Spark Therapeutics’ will continue its operations in Philadelphia as an independent company within the Roche Group, much as Genentech has continued in the Bay Area.

For questions about this article, contact rich@healthegy.com.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH YOUR COLLEAGUES:

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

Eyeing Gene Therapy’s Ocular Future

Eyeing Gene Therapy’s Ocular Future

OIS Index Deep in Bear Territory in Q3

OIS Index Deep in Bear Territory in Q3

Retina Treatment Beyond Protocol

Retina Treatment Beyond Protocol

What Has 50 Companies, Four Breakout Sessions, Winning Pitch Winners, and a Keynote Conversation? OIS@AAO 2019

What Has 50 Companies, Four Breakout Sessions, Winning Pitch Winners, and a Keynote Conversation? OIS@AAO 2019

Innovation Case Study: LensGen Focusing on a Complete Presbyopia Correcting IOL for Declining Vision

Innovation Case Study: LensGen Focusing on a Complete Presbyopia Correcting IOL for Declining Vision

5 Factors for Evaluating Investments in the Retina Space

5 Factors for Evaluating Investments in the Retina Space

About The Author

Rich Kirkner

Richard Kirkner is an award-winning journalist and editorial consultant who has specialized in ophthalmology and eye care media for three decades. Based in Philadelphia, his work has been recognized with more than 40 awards for editorial excellence.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER

Get The Latest News In Opthalmologic Innovation To Your Inbox.

We respect your privacy and will never send you spam.

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.
Scroll To Top