Feb 25, 2019 - Health

Roche buying Spark Therapeutics for $4.8 billion

A building with the Roche logo.

Roche is betting on gene therapies. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

Roche, the Swiss-based pharmaceutical conglomerate, is acquiring Spark Therapeutics in a $4.8 billion all-cash deal. The Wall Street Journal first reported the buyout.

Why it matters: Pharmaceutical companies see promise in gene therapies and are willing to pay a large premium for them, but the treatments also come with record-high price tags. Spark has an $850,000 gene therapy to treat a rare eye condition, and a separate product is in the works for hemophilia.

Go deeper