It’s been a busy year for the biotechnology sector so far, and this week continued the trend. Roche (SIX: RO), the global pharmaceuticals and diagnostics company, acquired Spark Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONCE) for $4.3 billion. At $114.50 per share, the price represents a 122% premium to Spark’s closing price on February 22, 2019, and a 19% premium to Spark’s high share price on July 9, 2018.
Founded in 2013, Spark Therapeutics develops gene therapies for genetic diseases, including blindness, hemophilia, lysosomal storage disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Spark will continue operations in Philadelphia as an independent company under Roche. The deal gives Roche key clinical assets including Luxturna, a one-time gene therapy product for retinal dystrophy.
However, this was not the only biotechnology deal this week focused on gene therapies. Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. (NASADAQ: SRPT) bought Myonexus Therapeutics for $165 million. In May 2018, Sarepta and Myonexus entered into a partnership to develop gene therapy candidates, and as part of the agreement, Sarepta had an exclusive option to acquire Myonexus.
In general, the biotechnology industry this year has been wild. Our announced price total for the year thus far equals over $110 billion, nearly a 257% increase over last year’s total in the same time frame.