Shares in Dublin, Ireland-based drugmaker Shire were given a little nudge yesterday after it successfully snapped Belgian biotech Movetis NV following its move on the group in September with an offer for 19 euros per share.

The group said yesterday that it has now acquired 99.21% of Movetis stock, and that an additional tender period – open until November 2 - has been opened to deal with the remainder of shares and warrants.

Shire’s move should give it a stronger standing in the gastrointestinal arena, most notably with Movetis’ recently launched therapy for constipation Resolor (prucalopride), approved in Europe for women in whom laxatives fail to provide adequate relief, which is currently its only marketed product and has targeted annual peak sales of over 300 million euros.

According to the Turnhout, Belgium-based drugmaker, Resolor is a novel enterokinetic agent that represents a new approach to the symptomatic treatment of chronic constipation as it focuses on the underlying problem of impaired gut motility.

The drug is also being tested for use in a number of other potentially lucrative indications such as chronic constipation in males and children as well as opioid-induced constipation and post-operative ileus.

Further down the pipeline, Movetis has several other candidates in development, including two Phase II drugs - M0002 for ascites and M0003 for the symptomatic treatment of heartburn and regurgitation in patients refractory to proton pump inhibitors and paediatric reflux, giving Shire access to a new batch of experimental gastrointestinal medicines.