Movetis plots European IPO

Belgian drugmaker Movetis said today that it will seek up to €112.4 ($167 million) in an upcoming IPO. The gastroenterology company--which was founded in 2006 as a spin-off Johnson & Johnson units Janssen and Ortho-McNeil--recently won European approval of its chronic constipation treatment Resolor. It's also marketed in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. J&J holds rights to the drug in the rest of the world. Movetis plans to use the IPO money to launch Resolor in Germany and Britain next year, and hopes to expand the drug's indication to men and children (current EU approval applies only to women).

Industry watchers are hopeful that Movetis' IPO could be the beginning of the end of the IPO drought in Europe. But Movetis is unlike other drug developers in that it has a more mature pipeline, making it a better IPO candidate. The proceeds will also fund development of M0002 for ascites and M0003 for heartburn and regurgitation.

- here's the Reuters report