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.
MDS Pharma Services, based in King of Prussia, Pa., recently opened a new office in downtown Tokyo to support operations across the region. MDS Pharma’s new office will act as another extension to the company’s network hubs in Singapore and Australia (central labs), Taiwan (preclinical) and Beijing, Malaysia and Australia (late stage clinical work).MDS Pharma already has one office in Tokyo; however, it offers only development and regulatory services and central lab work. MDS Pharma also recently launched its newest version of ClinQuick, the company’s proprietary phase I trial management platform. The system, built in-house, has been in use since 1993 and was utilized in more than 3,000 early phase studies. The new enhanced software platform includes a more user-friendly interface, improved navigation and faster, more flexible reporting capabilities. The software will eventually allow the company’s sponsor clients to access and manage clinical data via the web.