By Anthony Shevlin
Roche Holding said Monday that it entered a definitive merger agreement to acquire Philadelphia-based Spark Therapeutics.
The Swiss pharmaceutical company said it would acquire Spark for $114.50 per share and that the deal is expected to close in the second quarter.
Under the terms of the deal, Roche will file a tender offer to acquire all outstanding shares of Spark common stock, and Spark will file a recommendation statement containing the unanimous recommendation of the Spark board that its shareholders tender their shares to Roche.
Spark Therapeutics specializes in discovering, developing and delivering gene therapies. Its lead clinical asset is SPK-8011, a novel gene therapy for the treatment of hemophilia A, which is expected to start Phase 3 trials in 2019.
Roche Chief Executive Severin Schwan said the company planned to continue investing in Spark's portfolio.
Roche said Spark will continue to operate as an independent company within the Roche group.
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