Morphosys – A Biotech Rule Breaker

Morphosys (MOR.DE) is one of the most unusual biotech companies, as it breaks three basic rules that apply to drug development companies:

Rule No. 1: Development-stage companies burn cash and therefore must constantly raise capital and dilute existing shareholders.

Rule No. 2: Development-stage companies are risky and volatile because they rely on a limited number of binary events.

Rule No. 3: Investing in cutting edge, growing segments of the pharmaceutical industry is associated with a high level of risk.

Morphosys is the only company I am familiar with that systematically breaks each and every one of these rules. It does not have any drugs on the market and is not expected to have any in the foreseeable future, yet it is profitable. It is involved in drug discovery which is associated with a high attrition rate, yet statistically, there is a very high chance that it will have commercial revenues at some point in the future. It is involved in one the fastest growing segments in the industry, but can be regarded as a conservative holding since it will never be dependent on a limited number of binary events. And finally, it has no need to raise cash in the coming decade in order to support its activities, as its costs are covered by other companies.

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