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Roche Extends Offer Period for Spark Therapeutics Acquisition

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Roche Holding AG (RHHBY - Free Report) withdrew its Premerger Notification and Report Form in connection with the pending acquisition of Spark Therapeutics, Inc. (ONCE - Free Report) .

We remind investors that Roche entered into an agreement to acquireSpark Therapeutics in February 2019 for $114.50 per share in an all-cash transaction. This price represented a premium of about 122% to Spark Therapeutics’ closing price on Feb 22, 2019. The total value of the deal was $4.8 billion. 

Roche received only 29.4% of the shares of Spark Therapeutics in a tender offer and failed to get the majority of outstanding Spark Therapeutics’ stock.  With the withdrawal and refiling of the above mentioned documents, Roche is extending the offer period of its previously announced tender offer for Spark Therapeutics.The offer that was previously scheduled to expire on Apr 3, 2019, will now expire on May 2, 2019. All terms and conditions of the offer shall remain unchanged during the extended period

Shares of Roche have rallied 25.4% in the past year compared with the industry’s growth of 16.7%.

The company offered  acquire Spark Therapeutics to gain access to some hemophilia products, which will broaden its drug-development pipeline. Post completion of the probable buyout, Roche will get access to Spark Therapeutics’ novel gene therapy, SPK-8011for the treatment of hemophilia A. which is expected to enter phase III in 2019. Spark Therapeutics also has SPK-8016 in a phase I/II study, which is aimed at addressing the hemophilia A inhibitor population. Roche already sells Hemlibra for the treatment of hemophilia A. With the acquisition, the company will also get to add Luxturna to its portfolio. Luxturna is a one-time gene therapy product indicated for the treatment of patients with confirmed biallelic RPE65 mutation-associated retinal dystrophy. The drug is currently marketed in the United States by Spark Therapeutics and elsewhere by Novartis (NVS - Free Report) .


Zacks Rank & A Stock to Consider

Roche currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). 

Another better-ranked stock from the same space is Johnson & Johnson (JNJ - Free Report) , carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Johnson & Johnson’s earnings per share estimates have increased from $9.20 to $9.21 for 2020 in the past 60 days. The company delivered a positive earnings surprise in all the trailing four quarters at an average of 1.61%.

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