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MorphoSys Declines as Europe Concern Hurts Stocks

MorphoSys AG, the German biotechnology company that helps drugmakers discover new medicines, fell the most in 18 months as concern that Europe’s debt crisis will worsen prompted investors to sell the best-performing stocks.

MorphoSys fell 3.9 percent to 32.80 euros at 11 a.m. in Frankfurt in trading of 214,000 shares, almost three times the average for a full day in the past three months. The stock dropped as much as 9.1 percent, the biggest intraday decline since Aug. 5, 2011.

MorphoSys had almost doubled in the past year before today, helped by optimism about the company’s experimental arthritis drug and takeover speculation. European stocks declined and Italy’s borrowing costs rose to a three-month high after inconclusive elections in the country sparked concern about the debt crisis.

“The stock had an extreme gain in the past,” Timo Kuerschner, an analyst at Landesbank Baden-Wuerttemberg said in a telephone interview.

MorphoSys isn’t aware of any tangible news that would have caused the stock to fall, Claudia Gutjahr-Loeser, a spokeswoman for the Martinsried, Germany-based company, said in a telephone interview today.

“The volume today is huge,” she said. “Really, people are selling in a negative market thanks to Italy.”

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