Angel Biotechnology calls in administrators

Glass pipette dispenses fluid into test tubes Angel specialises in advanced biologics, including cell therapies such as cellular vaccines

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A Scottish biotech firm has called in administrators after suffering cash flow difficulties.

Midlothian-based Angel Biotechnology said it had been forced to take the step after talks with an overseas consortium over a strategic partnership broke down.

Administrators at KPMG said they were assessing Angel's finances with a view to finding a buyer.

All 22 staff at the company have been retained for the time being.

Angel, which is based in Penicuik but also runs facilities in Glasgow and Northumberland, manufactures and supplies clinically-based bio-materials for global biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

The company has a subsidiary, Angel Biomedical, which is also in administration.

Share-trading in AIM-listed Angel Biotechnology Holdings has ceased.

KPMG said the companies had incurred losses, most recently as a result of difficult trading conditions.

Angel announced recently that it needed a strategic partner in order to develop its contract manufacturing business.

The firm said at the end of January that its future depended on completing a joint venture deal with a Russian company, MMH, and signing a separate strategic partnership with an unspecified overseas consortium.

Talks 'terminated'

In a stock market announcement, Angel said: "The company regrets to announce that discussions with that consortium have been terminated and it has requested an immediate suspension of trading in its ordinary shares on AIM pending clarification of its financial position."

Joint administrator Blair Nimmo commented: "Angel Biotechnology and Angel Biomedical have worldwide reputations for the quality of their production facilities, understanding of global regulatory regimes, and being at the cutting edge of pharmaceutical and biotechnological manufacturing.

"We are hopeful that the companies, and their employees, will have a positive future given their unrivalled credentials and quality of service."

Last May, Angel bought a collagen manufacturing facility in Glasgow as it sought to expand its core business.

The move was designed to allow the firm to produce collagen products in the medical device and regenerative medicine markets.

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