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MDS Pharma to be Split, Sold to Ricerca and Private Investment Firm

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

MDS announced today plans to divide MDS Pharma Services, the company’s early-stage contract research organization (CRO), and sell it off to two separate companies for undisclosed amounts. The sale transactions are expected to close by April.

Ricerca Biosciences of Concord, Ohio, has agreed to purchase MDS Pharma’s discovery through phase IIa operations in Bothell, Washington; Lyon, France; and Taipei, Taiwan. A new corporation primarily owned by private investment firms Bain Capital Ventures and SV Life Sciences will purchase MDS’ development and regulatory services consultancy, as well as five early-stage facilities in Northern Ireland, Nebraska, New Jersey, Arizona and Switzerland.

Ricerca is an early-stage CRO with capabilities in discovery and medicinal chemistry, API process chemistry, cGMP manufacturing and scale-up, and IND-enabling toxicology. MDS Pharma will add molecular profiling, pharmacology/DMPK and drug safety assessment to its list of services.

“The addition of these facilities and personnel complement Ricerca’s existing facility in Concord, Ohio, and position us as a global, preferred provider of discovery and development services.  We have intimate working knowledge of these facilities; all are steeped in decades of experience and expertise,” said Ricerca chairman and CEO Ian Lennox in a statement.

Neither deal includes the sale of MDS Pharma’s King of Prussia, Pa., executive office or its early clinical research and bioanalysis operations in Montreal, Quebec. The Pennsylvania office will close immediately, and the Montreal operations will be decommissioned over the next year with final close occurring in early 2011. Approximately 225 employees will be laid off as a result of the closure, while another 50 jobs will be eliminated from MDS Pharma Services other locations. Forty employees from the Montreal office will become home-based employees under the new corporation.

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