PHARMACEUTICALS firm Angel Biotechnology is aiming to raise £1.15m in a share placing, most of which will be ploughed into its Cramlington site.
The company, named after the Angel of the North, quit Northumberland for Edinburgh four years ago but announced it intended to return last year. It is now working to bring the Northumberland site up to the standards required to legally produce clinical grade compounds for drugs companies.
Chairman Dr Paul Harper said: “This time last year we raised £1.9m, around £1m of which was to go into Cramlington.
“The facility was mothballed when we left last time and we need to reverse that mothballing. Nothing has been running there for four to five years and there is some very sophisticated equipment in there and it has to meet the GMP – Good Manufacturing Practice.
“It was licensed before, but when we left it the licence was cancelled and we have to get it relicensed.
“We need to demonstrate it is up to the legal standard.
“It’s a very expensive business. It’s the sort of place where people have to shower, change into face masks and bodysuits. It’s all done to control contamination.”
The AIM-listed company is issuing 575,000,000 ordinary shares of 0.1p each and Dr Harper has subscribed for 10,000,000 shares at 0.2p each in lieu of payment due to him by the company. After the subscription, he will hold 96,933,527 shares, representing 3% of Angel’s voting rights.
The company, which is continuing to operate its Edinburgh factory, is also receiving investment into Cramlington from long-standing Russian clients.
“The Russians were with us last week. They visited Cramlington for the first time,” said Dr Harper.
“They are a client of long standing. We’ve done six major programmes for them and they’ve got other programmes they want us to do.
“They are investing £1m into Cramlington to extend the space by 260sq m, which will be dedicated to their work, so any time they want something done, they don’t have to wait in a queue.”
The work to recommission Cramlington will have taken around a year and Angel expects to re-open for business in March.
Dr Harper said: “It will create some high-value jobs; we are not sure how many.
“When it was running before and fully operational, there were 20 to 25 staff but it will take a while to get to that level.
“It’s a good area, there’s always been pharmaceutical manufacturing locally. We expect to find the high quality people we want reasonably easily.”