Roche's $4.3 billion purchase of Spark Therapeutics approved by US antitrust

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Swiss drugmaker Roche has been approved by US antitrust to buy gene therapy specialist Spark Therapeutics in a $4.3 billion deal. This move allows Roche to advance its push in treating rare diseases like Hemophilia A.

The Federal Trade Commission stated that it has approved the deal, without requiring Roche asset sales that will assure that the merger complies with antitrust law.

In a statement, the FTC said that the evidence “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.”

The approval of US antitrust was the last leg in the merger of the two companies.

When the merger deal was initially announced, an agreement stating that Roche was going to pay a big premium for Spark, the amount of which was double of the company’s closing price on Feb. 22.

Roche buying Spark is a measure done by the company to gain footing in gene therapy and to make addition to its hemophilia A products. Its anti-hemophilia A drug, Hemlibra, is about to exceed $1 billion in sales this year.

People who have hemophilia suffer with a deficiency in protein that aids in blood-clotting, risking them with serious health issues such as internal bleeding, joint damage, or death.

Traditionally, hemophilia has been the most expensive and lucrative treatment areas, with clotting factors running millions of dollars annually.

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