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Shire to buy GI company Movetis

Biopharmaceutical company looks to extend its portfolio with purchase of Belgium-based speciality gastrointestinal firm

Biopharmaceutical company, Shire, plans to extend its portfolio with the purchase of Belgium-based specialist gastrointestinal (GI) company, Movetis, for €428m.

Movetis has said its board unanimously supports the transaction and will recommend acceptance of the €19 per share offer to its shareholders.

The proposed acquisition will broaden Shire's GI portfolio and expand its GI presence in Europe with recently launched new chemical entity, Resolor (prucalopride), for chronic constipation. Resolor is approved in the 27 countries of the EU, as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Movetis has the rights to Resolor in these countries and is entitled to royalties on sales outside Europe from Johnson & Johnson.

Mike Cola, president of Shire's Speciality Pharmaceuticals business, commented: "This proposed acquisition of Movetis provides a highly complementary fit for our GI business unit and supports our strategy of expanding our speciality product portfolio into international markets.

"This is aligned with our strategy of developing and commercialising medicines to address symptomatic diseases treated by specialist physicians, in this case gastroenterologists. The acquisition of Movetis will provide immediate revenue from a newly-launched product that has strong patent protection, as well as a promising GI pipeline."

It is anticipated that the offer will be put to Movetis' shareholders in September.

Resolor is a selective, high-affinity 5-HT4 receptor agonist developed to target impaired motility associated with chronic constipation. It has composition of matter patent protection until 2020 and Shire estimates potential peak sales of over €300m.

Movetis has a further two projects in early clinical development and several pre-clinical leads as well as the rights to a large library of qualified lead compounds with potential for development and commercialisation.

The company was founded in Belgium in 2006 as a spin-off of Johnson & Johnson. It had recently announced plans to expand its operations into the UK.

4th August 2010

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