MorphoSys Rises on Expanded Novartis Partnership: Munich Mover

MorphoSys AG rose the most in six weeks after saying it will expand an alliance with Novartis AG, using new technology to boost the discovery of medicines with the Swiss drug maker.

The German company’s shares advanced as much as 6.3 percent, the biggest gain since Sept. 24, and were up 4.4 percent at 26.22 euros at 1:25 p.m. in Frankfurt. That extended the stock’s gain this year to 50 percent.

MorphoSys said it will use its Ylanthia and Slonomics technologies, among others, to identify antibodies that may make effective treatments. Antibody drugs, used to treat diseases such as cancer or arthritis, are based on substances found in human immune systems. The company, based in Martinsried near Munich, didn’t disclose financial terms of the agreement.

“The long-term alliance will now benefit from new technologies that were not available when the current agreement between the two companies was signed in 2007,” Morphosys said in a statement.

The shares rose even as MorphoSys cut its 2012 sales forecast.

“We are not concerned about the slightly lowered financial guidance, as it reflects the degree of volatility underlying its business,” Olav Zilian, an analyst at Helvea SA in Geneva, said in a note to clients. “The news about the expansion of MorphoSys’s collaboration with Novartis” is more important, he said.

MorphoSys reduced its 2012 revenue forecast by 5 million euros ($6.4 million) and now expects sales of 70 million euros to 75 million euros, it said today. The company said its net loss in the third quarter narrowed to 0.2 million euros from 2 million euros a year earlier, missing analysts’ estimates.

Revenue fell 7 percent to 15.9 million euros.

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