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The Federal Trade Commission staff reviewing Roche's <RBO.PA> plan to buy U.S.-based gene therapy specialist Spark Therapeutics <ONCE.O> for $4.3 billion (£3.34 billion) recommended that the deal be approved without requiring any asset sales, the Capitol Forum reported on Thursday. Basel-based Roche, the biggest maker of cancer drugs, said in February that it would buy the U.S. company, acquiring a portfolio that includes a blindness treatment that has U.S. and European approval and other projects for neurodegenerative disorders like Huntington's disease. One of its projects is a gene therapy treatment for hemophilia.
Swiss drugmaker Roche lifted its 2019 sales target on Wednesday for the third time this year, helped by newer medicines and as China bought more cancer drugs to treat a disease blamed for a quarter of the nation's annual deaths. Roche's full-year revenue is now seen growing at a high-single-digit percentage rate, the Basel-based company said, to what would easily top $60 billion. The new forecast sets a high bar for Swiss rival Novartis, which reports results next week.
Swiss drugmaker Roche <ROG.S> sees medicines in its own pipeline driving sales growth over the longer term, Chief Executive Severin Schwan told Reuters on Friday, adding he will not pursue takeovers simply to keep revenue rising. In an interview at Roche's Basel headquarters, Schwan also said ongoing U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) scrutiny of Roche's $4.3 billion takeover of Spark Therapeutics <ONCE.O> came as a surprise, forcing delays. Roche has twice upgraded 2019 sales forecasts, the latest time to mid- to high-single-digit percentage rate growth, as medicines including Ocrevus for multiple sclerosis and Hemlibra for haemophilia A offset incursions by rivals' copies of its $22 billion-per-year cancer trio Herceptin, Rituxan and Avastin.
Roche, Spark, AstraZeneca, Snap, Walmart and eBay are the companies to watch
Roche Holding and Spark Therapeutics announced on Tuesday another extension of the Swiss drugmaker's $4.3 billion takeover offer for the U.S. gene therapy specialist as regulatory reviews continue. The offer for Spark shares now runs to Oct. 1, Roche said. Around 24.1% of Spark's outstanding shares had been tendered as of the end of August.
Swiss drugmaker Roche's $4.3 billion takeover of U.S. gene therapy specialist Spark Therapeutics has been pushed back again, possibly beyond the first half, as regulators continue to scrutinize the deal for its effect on competition. Roche said on Monday that both companies received a request for more information from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in connection with the FTC's review of the deal, sending Spark shares down nearly 15% at $93 in premarket trading on Monday. Roche also said that the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has opened an investigation.