INC Research to acquire MDS clinical trials unit for $50M

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MDS Pharma Services is selling its late-phase clinical trials business operations to contract research organization INC Research in a transaction worth $50 million.

The deal covers the Phase II, III and IV clinical operations of MDS Pharma which involve approximately 800 employees, according to MDS, the Canadian-based parent of MDS Pharm. The clinical trials group is based in King of Prussia, Pa.

If regulatory approval is received, INC will expand its operational footprint in several international markets, including South America, Asia and Africa. Once the transaction is closed, INC will have about 2,000 employees and maintain operations in some 40 countries, MDS said.

'We are taking action to enhance shareholder value by focusing our business portfolio on areas where we believe we can expand market leadership," MDS CEO Stephen DeFalco said in a statement. "While our investments in MDS Pharma Services' Late Stage have significantly strengthened the business, further success requires greater scale. By divesting our Phase II-IV operations, we will be better able to take advantage of our core competencies in Early Stage."