BRUSSELS, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Belgian drugmaker Movetis said it could raise up to 112.4 million euros ($167 million) in an initial public offering to help fund the European launch of its Resolor treatment for chronic constipation in women.
Movetis will offer 85 million euros worth of new ordinary shares, an amount it could increase by up to 15 percent, it said on Friday. A further 15 percent over-allotment option could raise the total to 112.4 million euros.
The shares were indicated at 11.25-14.25 euros apiece.
The offer period will run from Nov. 23 to Dec. 2, with a view to first trading on Euronext Brussels on Dec. 4.
A stock market float by the gastroinestinal specialist, founded in 2006 as a spin-out from Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N), could signal an opening in the IPO window for European drug companies following a dearth of issues.
Unlike riskier biotechnology groups, Movetis already has advanced products and last month obtained approval from the European Commission to sell its lead drug Resolor, also known as prucalopride.
Movestis said it would use the IPO proceeds to market Resolor which would be launched in Germany and then Britain in the first quarter of 2010, and possibly to expand its use to treating men and children.
Nearly 14 million patients in Europe, about 85 percent of whom are women, visit their doctor for chronic constipation, with about half dissatisfied with laxative treatment, it said.
Resolor will compete with a range of mostly over-the-counter drugs marketed mainly by small to medium-sized players.
Movetis has the right to commercialise Resolor in the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, but Johnson & Johnson kept the rights for the rest of the world when the group was spun off.
However, it is entitled to royalties when Johnson & Johnson starts marketing Resolor in other parts of the world.
Movetis said it would also seek to advance clinical development of pipeline drug candidates M0002 for ascites -- excess fluid in the peritoneal cavity -- and M0003 for heartburn and regurgitation.
Leading investors in Movetis include French venture capital group Sofinnova Partners and Life Sciences Partners of the Netherlands.
The IPO is being led by Credit Suisse and KBC Securities as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners. Piper Jaffray is acting as co-manager. (Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop; Editing by Dan Lalor) ($1 = 0.6722 euro)