French pharmaceutical company Ipsen published details of its planned initial public offering (IPO), revealing that it plans to raise around 400 million euros through an offering of around 15 million shares, or a round 20% of the company.

France’s fourth biggest drugmaker after Sanofi-Aventis, Servier and Pierre Fabre said it would price its shares in the range of 21.70-25.20 euros, valuing the company at a little under 2 billion euros. Trading in Ipsen shares is scheduled to start on December 7.

Ipsen’s chief executive, Jean-Luc Belingard, said the flotation would help Ipsen expand its presence in the US market, where it currently only operates an R&D facility. Central to its growth plans in the USA is Somatuline Autogel (lanreotide), a treatment for acromegaly and neuroendocrine tumours, which is due to be filed for approval in the USA next year.

In the future, the group also expects strong US sales for Dysport (Clostridium botulinum type A toxin haemagglutin), a treatment for neuromuscular disorders due to be submitted for approval in 2007 in the USA. Meanwhile it has three drugs in clinical development: BIM 51.077, a new diabetes agent currently in Phase II trials; OBI-1, also in Phase II to treat resistant forms of haemophilia; and febuxostat, in Phase III studies for the treatment of gout.

Ipsen reported a 9% increase in nine-month sales to 607 million euros earlier this month, but said its performance was held back by pricing pressures in Europe.

Last week, Fellow French company ExonHit Therapeutics floated – the first Biopharma to do so in France since NicOx in 1999 – while BioAlliance Pharma also announced its intention to follow suit.