Roche concludes acquisition of Spark Therapeutics, Inc. to strengthen presence in gene therapy

RocheRoche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) and Spark Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: ONCE) ("Spark") today announced the completion of the acquisition following the receipt of regulatory approval from all government authorities required by the merger agreement.

Commenting on this important step forward, Severin Schwan, CEO of Roche, said, "We are excited about this important milestone because we believe that together, Roche and Spark will be able to significantly improve the lives of patients through innovative gene therapies. This acquisition supports our long-lasting commitment to bringing transformational therapies and innovative approaches to people around the world with serious diseases."

Spark Therapeutics, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a fully integrated, commercial company committed to discovering, developing and delivering gene therapies for genetic diseases, including blindness, haemophilia, lysosomal storage disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Spark Therapeutics will continue to operate as an independent company within the Roche Group.

"Today ushers in a new and promising era in the development of genetic medicines for patients and families living with inherited diseases and beyond," said Jeffrey D. Marrazzo, co-founder and CEO of Spark Therapeutics. "Spark and Roche share an ethos of imagining the unimaginable. Together, we have the potential to change the future of medicine and deliver the medicines of tomorrow today. We couldn’t be more thrilled about what’s next."

About Roche

Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people's lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare - a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible.

Roche is the world's largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.

Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. More than thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Moreover, for the eleventh consecutive year, Roche has been recognised as one of the most sustainable companies in the Pharmaceuticals Industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI).

The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2018 employed about 94,000 people worldwide. In 2018, Roche invested CHF 11 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 56.8 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan.

About Spark Therapeutics

Spark Therapeutics is a fully integrated, commercial company committed to discovering, developing and delivering gene therapies. The company challenges the inevitability of genetic diseases, including blindness, haemophilia, lysosomal storage disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

Founded in March 2013 as a result of the technology and know-how accumulated over two decades at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Spark Therapeutics’ investigational therapies have the potential to provide long-lasting effects, dramatically and positively changing the lives of patients with conditions where no, or only palliative, therapies exist. Greater understanding of the human genome and genetic abnormalities have allowed Spark Therapeutics' scientists to tailor investigational therapies to patients suffering from very specific genetic diseases. This approach holds great promise in developing effective treatments to a host of inherited diseases.

Spark Therapeutics is headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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