Wednesday, February 10, 2010

MDS sale means end for King of Prussia office

"MDS Inc., of Toronto, has agreed to sell its early-stage clinical trials business to two separate buyers for a total of $45 million.

The transaction does not include MDS Pharma Services' headquarters in King of Prussia where about 50 people work, the company said.

A statement issued by MDS Pharma president David Spaight said that he and his executive team have agreed to remain in place during the transition to new ownership, which should occur over the next two months.

Some of the 50 employees in the King of Prussia office are expected to be hired by the new owners. The rest will get severance payments based on years of service and career transition assistance, the company said. The Montgomery County headquarters is the only local MDS Pharma operation.

Another MDS Pharma facility to close will be its early clinical reseach and bioanalysis operations in Montreal. When it winds down in early 2011, about 225 people will lose their jobs.

There are two buyers involved. Ricera Biosciences L.L.C., which provides contract research organization services, will acquire MDS Pharma's discovery and preclinical operations in Bothell, Wash.; Lyon, France; and Taipei, Taiwan.

A new company owned by Bain Capital Ventures and SV Life Sciences will acquire MDS Pharma's development and regulatory services consulting operations and five "early-stage development" facilities in Belfast, Northern Ireland; Lincoln, Neb.; Neptune, N.J.; Phoenix, Ariz.; and Zurich, Switzerland.

MDS had first announced its intention to sell the MDS Pharma operations in September.

The Canadian company said the divestiture leaves it in the fields of medical imaging, radiotherapeutics and sterilization through its MDS Nordion business."

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