Shire zeroes in on Movetis to expand gastrointestinal pipeline
London/Turnhout – Speciality drug maker Shire plc has launched a EUR19-a-share offer for Belgian biotech company Movetis N.V., making the proposed acquisition worth EUR428m in cash. Shire said the deal would broaden its gastrointestinal portfolio and expand its presence in Europe, where Movetis markets Resolor (prucalopride) for chronic constipation in women for whom laxatives fail to provide adequate relief. The proposed acquisition of Movetis fits into the company’s growth strategy of acquiring near-to-market or marketed products for specialty indications. By buying Movetis, Shire will add four gastrointestinal programs to its pipeline: two in the clinic, and two in preclinical testing. Movetis’ management have unanimously recommended the offer to shareholders, which represents a premium of 74% on stock prices before the bid was first announced in early August.
Brief and dynamic history
Movetis’ lead product Resolor has gained marketing approval in 30 European countries. The drug made its debut in Germany this January, and has since launched in the UK, where the health-cost regulator NICE recommended its use to the National Health Service on August 3rd. Staf Van Reet, board chairman of Movetis, described the Shire offer as “a further remarkable milestone in Movetis’ brief and dynamic history.” This includes an EUR85m offering in December 2009 and a single private EUR49m financing round in 2007. Movetis was spun out of Johnson & Johnson in 2006.