Roche’s proposed acquisition of Spark Therapeutics Inc. is the pharma’s first major deal since James Sabry took over partnering, and could be a glimpse of what’s to come as the pharma broadens its horizons on indications and modalities.
On Feb. 25, Roche announced it would acquire Spark for $4.8 billion in cash.
The deal value is the pharma’s largest since Sabry took the role of global head of partnering on Aug. 1, 2018.
The takeout price is also a 24% premium to Spark’s all-time share price high of $92.39 on July 9, 2018.
The deal caps a successful run for Spark, which was founded in 2013 and became the first company to gain FDA approval for an in vivo gene therapy with its Luxturna voretigene neparvovec for a rare retinal disorder. The biotech also was the first to introduce a tiered pay-for-performance structure in its payment model for the one-time treatment.
Roche also gains three clinical and at least four preclinical gene therapy programs.
Gene therapy is a new modality for the pharma, and Spark’s expertise and manufacturing capabilities