The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is a British non-ministerial government department that works for the good of customers to promote competition. Earlier this year, the pharmaceutical company Roche announced its intention to buy Spark Therapeutics, which led the UK government to examine the fairness of trade. As a result, the CMA questioned whether the deal could have a negative impact on future treatment options for the NHS, doctors, and patients.
Spark Therapeutics, based in the United States, is a gene therapy company specializing in rare disease drugs, and both companies are pursuing therapies to reduce bleeding in people with hemophilia A, an inherited blood disorder.
Roche produces a drug called Hemlibra, a relatively recent market entrant that has already been recognized for doctors in the UK as an essential and creative treatment. Spark Therapeutics is designing a cure for hemophilia A with gene therapy that is expected to compete with Hemlibra in the future.
Nevertheless, the initial Phase 1 inquiry of the CMA noted that the procurement of Haemophilia A drugs is a growing industry and several manufacturers are currently in the process of launching new products.
Although gene therapy drugs are likely to compete with Roche’s Hemlibra drug in the future, the CMA noted that Spark is not the only manufacturer to produce a gene therapy treatment and that its products are actually not known to have any clear therapeutic or market benefits over those manufactured by other suppliers.
The study of the CMA has shown that underdevelopment there are several novel non-gene therapy drugs that are expected to become viable alternatives to the therapies of Roche and Spark. As a result, the deal between Roche and Spark was not considered to have a negative impact on trade, as UK health services and patients Alternatives will still have an acceptable alternative.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission is also investigating the transaction and the two agencies have worked closely together.