MDS has become the second pharmaceutical services company in as many weeks to report a round of layoffs. Toronto-based MDS has slashed 210 jobs from its North American workforce, representing 4% of MDS’s 5,500 worldwide employees. The company stated that 75% of the lay offs will come from its MDS Pharma Services (contract research) division with the remainder from its Analytical Technologies (medical equipment manufacturing) group. MDS cited that the action will result in third quarter charges of $18 million and $10 million in write downs at its Pharma Services laboratory based in Montreal. Company shares rose 1.8 per cent, or 26 cents, to $14.85 in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange. MDS is scheduled to release its third quarter fiscal 2008 earnings on September 4, 2008.