The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority has given the go-ahead for Roche’s purchase of gene therapy company Spark Therapeutics.
The CMA has been assessing whether the proposed deal would negatively affect the future treatment choices available to the NHS, doctors and patients, given that both firms develop treatments that aim to prevent bleeding in patients with Haemophilia A.
Roche sells heamoohilia therap Hemlibra, while Spark is developing a gene therapy treatment for the condition that is expected to compete with Hemlibra in future.
However, while gene therapy treatments are likely to compete with Roche’s Hemlibra in future, the CMA found that Spark is not the only company developing one, and that the firm’s products are not currently considered to hold any particular clinical or commercial advantages over those others in development.
The CMA said its investigation also found several innovative non-gene therapy products in development that are likely to become viable alternatives to Roche and Spark’s treatments, thus ensuring adequate choice for patients in future, and its unconditional approval of the move.
The US Federal Trade Commission is also currently investigating the deal.
Roche announced its intention to buy Spark in February this year, for $114.50 (£87.54) per share, or around $4.3 billion (£3.3 billion) overall.
Spark’s lead clinical asset is SPK-8011, a novel gene therapy for the treatment of haemophilia A, which is expected to start Phase III in 2019.